There is no place for mediocrity, says Lions coach

2011-04-15 00:00

WHILE flyhalf Peter Grant has been forced to withdraw from the Stormers team to play at Ellis Park tomorrow, Lions’ pivot Elton Jantjies has been axed for the Super Rugby clash.

Gary van Aswegen will replace the Stormers’ pivot, with Lionel Cronje now on the bench.

Grant is expected to recover fully for the Stormers’ match against the Sharks on April 30 at Newlands.

Meanwhile, Lions coach John Mitchell has made seven changes — four because of injury — to his line-up after his team’s seven losses in eight outings. Out go lock Franco van der Merwe, former Sharks tighthead Patric Cilliers and flyhalf Jantjies; while injuries to fullback James Kamana and both flanks Derick Minnie (knee) and Josh Strauss (concussion) as well as lock George Earl (concussion) have led to four further changes.

Former Cheetahs lock David de Villiers, former Griquas prop Jacobie Adriaanse and former Sharks flank Michael Rhodes come in to debut for the Lions in the Super 15 competition.

“There is no place for mediocrity,” said Mitchell in announcing the side. He said action had to be taken as some of the players weren’t playing at their optimum.

Van der Merwe’s demotion to the bench is the result of the side’s poor lineout performances in recent matches, and Mitchell referred to this first phase facet as “the root of all evil”.

The selection of Burton Francis at flyhalf comes as no surprise after performances by the inconsistent Jantjies that fluctuated between very good and very poor.

 

 

Kick-off is at 5.05 pm tomorrow.

 

Teams:

Lions: 15 Michael Killian, 14 Lionel Mapoe, 13 Waylon Murray, 12 Doppies La Grange (captain), 11 Deon van Rensburg, 10 Burton Francis, 9 Jano Vermaak, 8 Warren Whitely, 7 Michael Rhodes, 6 Cobus Grobbelaar, 5 David de Villiers, 4 Wikus van Heerden, 3 Jacobie Adriaanse, 2 Bandise Maku, 1 JC Janse van Rensburg

Replacements: 16 Martin Bezuidenhout, 17 Patric Cilliers, 18 Franco van der Merwe, 19 Dries van Schalkwyk, 20 Rory Kockott, 21 Elton Jantjies, 22 Jaco Taute

Stormers: 15 Conrad Jantjes, 14 Danie Poolman, 13 Jaque Fourie, 12 Juan de Jongh, 11 Gio Aplon, 10 Gary van Aswegen, 9 Dewaldt Duvenage, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Francois Louw, 6 Schalk Burger (captain), 5 Andries Bekker, 4 De Kock Steenkamp, 3 CJ van der Linde, 2 Deon Fourie, 1 Wicus Blaauw

Replacements: 16 Ethienne Reynecke, 17 Brok Harris, 18 Anton van Zyl, 19 Nick Koster, 20 Ricky Januarie, 21 Lionel Cronje, 22 Johann Sadie.

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