Nothnagel returns to lead Lions in URC derby at Kings Park

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Reinhard Nothnagel
Reinhard Nothnagel
Huw Fairclough/Getty Images

Lions skipper Reinhard Nothnagel returns to the starting XV for Friday's United Rugby Championship (URC) local derby encounter against the Sharks at Kings Park.

The Lions head into Friday's URC game on the back of a four-match unbeaten streak at home in all competitions.

PJ Botha returns as the starting lineout thrower with Jaco Visagie as cover, while centres Rynhardt Jonker and Marius Louw pair up to face their former team.

Lions forwards and lineout coach Albert van den Berg emphasised the need for his troops to start well ahead of the festive derby, which takes place two days before Christmas.

"Friday will be a good opportunity for us to show what we prepared for all week. We know what they are going to bring; they have a good overall kicking game, an exciting backline and a decent pack of forwards," said Van den Berg.

"It will be important for us to start well, stay in the fight as long as possible and hopefully get the win."

Van den Berg cautioned that while a four-match unbeaten streak at home in both the URC and EPCR Challenge Cup offers decent momentum. However, he argues playing the Sharks in KZN is a different challenge.

"We don't want to dwell too much on the unbeaten run. The feeling is that we can improve on certain aspects of our game from both an individual and team perspective," said Van den Berg.

"It's going to be a tough for us against a well-coached Sharks side and while we take the confidence of not having lost in recent weeks, we won't take this occasion for granted."

Kick-off on Friday is at 17:00.

Teams:

Sharks

TBA

Lions

15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Edwill van der Merwe, 13 Rynhardt Jonker, 12 Marius Louw, 11 Quan Horn, 10 Jordan Hendrikse, 9 Sanele Nohamba, 8 Ruan Venter, 7 Darrien Landsberg, 6 Emmanuel Tshituka, 5 Reinhard Nothnagel (captain), 4 Willem Alberts, 3 Asenathi Ntlabakanye, 2 PJ Botha, 1 JP Smith 

Substitutes: 16 Jaco Visagie, 17 Sti Sithole, 18 Ruan Smith, 19 Pieter Jansen van Vuren, 20 Jaco Kriel, 21 Andre Warner, 22 Gianni Lombard, 23 Stean Pienaar


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