Cape Town - The Lions are comfortable that Marnitz Boshoff can fill Elton Jantjies’s shoes at flyhalf when they duel the Bulls in a Super Rugby clash in Pretoria on Saturday.
Boshoff, 27, will get his first Super Rugby start this season after Jantjies was ruled out with a finger injury.
Boshoff has played mainly for the Golden Lions’ Currie Cup side this year, but Jaco van der Walt’s injury left Ackermann with no choice but to draft him straight into the Lions starting XV.
It’s been a fall from grace in recent times for Boshoff, who played one Test for the Springboks against Scotland in 2014.
Ackermann reminded Lions fans of that fact when he named his side on Thursday, insisting that Boshoff will be able to handle the pressure at Loftus Versfeld.
“His inclusion will probably raise a few eyebrows, especially because it’s an important match, but we have full confidence in Marnitz,” Ackermann was quoted as saying by Netwerk24.
“We don’t expect Marnitz to come up with the same magic as Elton. We just want him to stamp his own authority on the match. He is a former Springbok who knows the pressure of finals. We couldn’t opt for a better player to replace Elton.”
In other changes to the Lions side, Sylvian Mahuza gets his first start in Super Rugby, replacing the injured Van der Walt at fullback.
In other rotational changes, Malcolm Marx, Andries Ferreira, Warwick Tecklenburg and Rohan Janse van Rensburg all get a startm while Ashlon Davis has been included on the bench and if he gets a run will make his debut.
Kick-off on Saturday is at 17:05.
15 SP Marais, 14 Jamba Ulengo, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Jan Serfontein, 11 Bjorn Basson, 10 Francois Brummer, 9 Piet van Zyl, 8 Arno Botha, 7 Jannes Kirsten, 6 Lappies Labuschagne, 5 RG Snyman, 4 Jason Jenkins, 3 Marcel van der Merwe, 2 Adriaan Strauss (captain), 1 Lizo Gqoboka
Substitutes: 16 Bandise Maku, 17 Trevor Nyakane, 18 Pierre Schoeman, 19 Grant Hattingh, 20 Deon Stegmann, 21 Rudy Paige, 22 Tian Schoeman, 23 Dries Swanepoel
15 Sylvian Mahuza, 14 Ruan Combrinck, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 Rohan Janse van Rensburg, 11 Courtnall Skosan, 10 Marnitz Boshoff, 9 Faf de Klerk, 8 Warren Whiteley (captain), 7 Warwick Tecklenburg, 6 Jaco Kriel, 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Andries Ferreira, 3 Julian Redelinghuys, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Dylan Smith
Substitutes: 16 Akker van der Merwe, 17 Corne Fourie, 18 Jacques van Rooyen, 19 Ruan Ackermann, 20 Cyle Brink, 21 Ross Cronjé, 22 Howard Mnisi, 23 Ashlon Davids