The Lions will take on the Stormers in their Super rugby warm-up game at Newlands on Friday with a powerful starting XV and plenty of exciting young talent on the bench.
Coach John Mitchell has named his strongest available team for the match, but with key players like Wikus van Heerden, Elton Jantjies, CJ van der Linde and Michael Rhodes all still being managed as they make their return from injury there will be opportunities for some fringe players to make an impression.
One such player is former Griquas lock Hendrik Roodt, the only player in the starting line-up making his debut for the Lions, and he could ask for no better conditions to do so as he finds himself in the Currie Cup-winning forward pack.
In the backline Springbok veteran Butch James will be in the flyhalf jersey in the absence of Jantjies while Lionel Mapoe gets an opportunity to impress at outside centre.
The rest of the team is based on the players that carried the Lions to Currie Cup glory last year, although there are a few new faces on the bench.
Former Maties skipper Callie Visagie will provide cover for hooker Bandise Maku with former University of Johannesburg prop Caylib Oosthuizen alongside him, while other new players who will be hungry for a chance to stake their claim include Stephan Greeff, Ruan Botha, Doppies le Roux, Anthony Volmink and Andries Coetzee.
Lions: 15 Jaco Taute, 14 Deon Van Rensburg, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 Doppies La Grange, 11 Michael Killian, 10 Butch James, 9 Michael Bondesio, 8 Warren Whiteley, 7 Joshua Strauss (captain), 6 Derick Minnie, 5 Franco Van der Merwe, 4 Hendrik Roodt, 3 Patric Cilliers, 2 Bandise Maku, 1 JC Janse van Rensburg.
Replacements: 16 Callie Visagie, 17 Caylib Oosthuizen, 18 Jacobie Adriaanse, 19 Stephan Greeff, 20 Ruan Botha, 21 Cobus Grobbelaar, 22 Doppies Le Roux, 23 Anthony Volmink, 24 Dylan Des Fountain, 25 James Kamana, 26 Andries Coetzee.
Date: Friday, January 27
Venue: Newlands, Cape Town
Kick-off: 19.00 (17.00 GMT)
Referee: Jaco Peyper
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