Lions name squad for 'tough' European tour: 'We need to be more consistent'

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Ivan van Rooyen
Ivan van Rooyen
Huw Fairclough/Getty Images

The Lions have named their 29-man touring squad for their upcoming fixtures in the United Rugby Championship (URC) and Challenge Cup.

The Lions face Muster on Friday, 6 January in a URC game at Musgrave Park in Cork and then compete in back-to-back Challenge Cup encounters against Stade Francais and Dragons.

The Johannesburg-franchise then wraps up their four-week tour with a URC clash against Irish outfit Connacht at the Sportsground in Galway on 28 January.

READ | Lions working on Marius Louw's pesky butterfingers: 'He's a proud player with high standards'

Rabz Maxwane and Sanele Nohamba picked up injuries against the Stormers on Saturday, where they were thrashed 40-8 at Cape Town Stadium.

Meanwhile, Sti Sithole has not recovered from his niggle against the Sharks, and Ruan Dreyer, Reinhard Nothnagel and Francke Horn were not considered due to their injuries too.

Lions head coach Ivan van Rooyen says his side are under no illusion as they face a gruelling European tour.

"There's still a tremendous amount of belief within the squad in terms of where we are currently in the process. We know we need to be more consistent on attack and defense especially. We are under no illusion that it's going be a tough tour," said Van Rooyen.

"We like touring. We spend a lot of time together in Johannesburg, but time together on tour is just different.

"Going away together for four weeks on tour is a great opportunity for us to pull together, get consistency in our preparations and roll with the punches."

Lions 29-man touring squad:

Forwards: Ruan Smith, JP Smith, Asenathi Ntlabakanye, Morgan Naude, PJ Botha, Michael van Vuuren, Rhynardt Reijnsburger, Willem Alberts, Emmanuel Tshituka, Emile van Heerden, Darrian Landsberg, Ruan Venter, Jarod Cairns, Sibusiso Sangweni, Jaco Kriel, Ruhan Straeuli, JC Pretorius

Backs: Morne van den Berg, Andre Warner, Jordan Hendrikse, Gianni Lombard, Marius Louw, Manuel Rass, Henco van Wyk, Rhynhardt Jonker, Edwill van der Merwe, Stean Pienaar, Quan Horn, Andries Coetzee 

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