Cape Town - Lions coach Johan Ackermann is confident that his son, Ruan, will be able to fill Warren Whiteley’s boots in Saturday’s Super Rugby semi-final against the Highlanders in Johannesburg.
The Lions captain was ruled out of the clash with a calf injury, with his No 8 jersey taken by the coach’s son.
Flank Jaco Kriel will take the captain’s armband.
“That is why we’ve had a group structure the whole season and why I tell the players to always be ready, because you never know when opportunity comes knocking,” Ackermann told Netwerk24.
“Just like Warren is unique in the way that he plays and leads the team, Ruan is also unique in his own right and in Jaco we still have an outstanding leader.”
Saturday’s clash at Ellis Park is scheduled for 15:00.
15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Ruan Combrinck, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 Rohan Janse van Rensburg, 11 Courtnall Skosan, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Faf de Klerk, 8 Ruan Ackermann, 7 Warwick Tecklenburg, 6 Jaco Kriel (captain), 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Andries Ferreira, 3 Julian Redelinghuys, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Dylan Smith
Substitutes: 16 Armand van der Merwe, 17 Corne Fourie, 18 Jacques van Rooyen, 19 Lourens Erasmus, 20 Steph de Witt, 21 Dillon Smit, 22 Howard Mnisi, 23 Jaco van der Walt
15 Ben Smith (captain), 14 Waisake Naholo, 13 Matt Faddes, 12 Malakai Fekitoa, 11 Patrick Osborne, 10 Lima Sopoaga, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Luke Whitelock, 7 James Lentjes, 6 Elliot Dixon, 5 Tom Franklin, 4 Alex Ainley, 3 Josh Hohneck, 2 Ash Dixon, 1 Daniel Lienert-Brown
Substitutes: 16 Greg Pleasants-Tate, 17 Aki Seiuli, 18 Ross Geldenhuys, 19 Joe Wheeler, 20 Liam Squire, 21 Dan Pryor, 22 Te Aihe Toma, 23 Marty Banks