Lions welcome back stalwart Kriel for Scarlets duel

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Jaco Kriel. (Photo by Anton Geyser/Gallo Images)
Jaco Kriel. (Photo by Anton Geyser/Gallo Images)

The Lions welcome back the return of Springbok Jaco Kriel for Sunday’s URC clash against Welsh side Scarlets in Johannesburg. 

The barnstorming loose forward will wear his regular No 6 jersey after a lengthy period on the sidelines due to injury.

Flanker Darrien Landsberg also makes his URC debut for the Lions, forming a loose forward combination with Kriel and Emmanuel Tshituka.

Lions head coach Ivan Rooyen has warned his charges of the attacking threat posed by the Scarlets.

"We know Scarlets are a team who enjoy attacking and keeping ball in play. If you look at their game against the Stormers last week, the last 15-20 minutes featured plenty attack from them which puts teams under huge defensive pressure," said Van Rooyen

"Reflecting on our fixture against them last year, we learnt huge defensive lessons and it’s something we’ve taken stock of ahead of Sunday."

Van Rooyen urged his charges to explore attacking options rather than defend for long periods.

"It's important for us not to sit back and try defend their attacking game but also see how our attacking game can put them under pressure. They are a team that keeps the ball in play, so I think it will be a great running spectacle on Sunday, which will be great for fans," the coach concluded.

The Lions are seventh on the URC standings with four wins from seven games, while the Scarlets are 15th with a solitary win from eight games.

Sunday's clash at Ellis Park kicks off at 13:30.

Lions team:

15 Quan Horn, 14 Rabz Maxwane, 13 Henco van Wyk, 12 Marius Louw, 11 Edwill van der Merwe, 10 Jordan Hendrikse, 9 Sanele Nohamba, 8 Emmanuel Tshituka, 7 Darrien Landsberg, 6 Jaco Kriel, 5 Reinhard Nothnagel (captain), 4 Ruben Schoeman, 3 Ruan Dreyer, 2 PJ Botha, 1 Sti Sithole

Substitutes: 16 Jaco Visagie, 17 JP Smith, 18 Asenathi Ntlabakanye, 19 Ruan Venter, 20 Sibusiso Sangweni, 21 Andre Warner, 22 Gianni Lombard, 23 Zander du Plessis

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