Cape Town - Golden Lions prop Sti Sithole was in tears on Thursday after finding out he would not be able to play in Saturday’s Currie Cup final against the Free State Cheetahs due to injury.
Sithole tore a calf muscle in his team's early morning training session on Thursday shortly before the team was set to depart by bus to Bloemfontein.
"I really feel for Sti," said Lions coach Ivan van Rooyen.
"He's going to miss out. He’s had a great season, but his injury now also provides a guy like Nathan, another youngster, with an opportunity."
Coming into the starting line-up for Sithole is the experienced Dylan Smith, who moves up from the bench, while Nathan McBeth will come in as cover.
The change brought on by Sithole's injury is the only alteration to the starting line-up that played against Griquas in last weekend’s semi-final.
"We’re definitely ready, we had a good training week, so we're looking forward to the challenge," Van Rooyen said.
Free State Cheetahs
15 Clayton Blommetjies, 14 William Small-Smith, 13 Benhard Janse van Rensburg, 12 Dries Swanepoel, 11 Tian Meyer (captain ), 10 Tian Schoeman, 9 Ruan Pienaar, 8 Henco Venter, 7 Junior Pokomela , 6 Gerhard Olivier , 5 Walt Steenkamp, 4 Sintu Manjesi, 3 Erich de Jager, 2 Joseph Dweba, 1 Ox Nche
Substitutes: 16 Jacques du Toit, 17 Charl Marais, 18 Reinach Venter, 19 JP du Preez, 20 Jasper Wiese, 21 Abongile Nonkontwana, 22 Louis Fouche, 22 Darren Adonis
15 Tyrone Green; 14 Madosh Tambwe, 13 Wandisile Simelane, 12 Duncan Matthews, 11 Stean Pienaar; 10 Shaun Reynolds, 9 Ross Cronje (captain); 8 Hacjivah Dayimani, 7 Cyle Brink, 6 Marnus Schoeman, 5 Marvin Orie, 3 Ruben Schoeman, 3 Jacobie Adriaanse, 2 Pieter Jansen, 1 Dylan Smith
Substitutes: 16 Jan-Henning Campher, 17 Nathan McBeth, 18 Johannes Jonker, 19 Wilhelm van der Sluys, 20 Len Massyn, 21 Dillon Smit, 22 Jan-Louis la Grange, 23 Jamba Ulengo
- TeamTalk Media