Butch comes in to boost Lions against Sharks

Lions coach John Mitchell made four changes to his starting lineup that will face the Sharks in their Super Rugby match in Durban on Saturday.


The Johannesburg side suffered a number of injuries to the team which lost 30-28 to the Hurricanes last week.


JC Janse van Rensburg has been ruled out and CJ van der Linde is also out for three to four weeks.


“Losing two looseheads in twenty minutes, and not being able to scrummage against the Hurricanes was a factor in our last performance because we were scrumming very well,” said Mitchell in Johannesburg.


“But, those are the cards we have been dealt.”


Jacobie Adriaanse makes his first start of the competition at tight-head prop and Patric Cilliers comes in as loose-head prop for the injured Van Rensburg.


“We are very fortunate to have players like Jacobie who’s played a lot of rugby for us now,” Mitchell said, highlighting the depth in the squad.


“And Pat (Cilliers) has the ability to play both sides.”


Butch James was selected at inside centre ahead of Alwyn Hollenbach, who moves to the bench.


Mitchell reasoned that James, a former Sharks player, would be more motivated for the clash.


“It’s more just horses for courses in Durban,” he said.


“The decision has nothing to do with Alwyn’s game.”


James could be called upon to help Elton Jantjies with kicking duties and Mitchell admitted it was a factor.


In other changes, Marius Coetzer starts ahead of Stephan Greef at lock.


On the bench, Caylib Oosthuizen has been included for the injured Van der Linde.


Lions:


Jaco Taute, Deon Van Rensburg, Doppies La Grange, Butch James, Michael Killian, Elton Jantjies, Michael Bondesio, Warren Whiteley, Joshua Strauss (capt), Derick Minnie, Franco van der Merwe, Marius Coetzer, Jacobie Adriaanse, Callie Visagie, Patric Cilliers.


Substitutes: Martin Bezuidenhout, Caylib Oosthuizen, Stephan Greef, Cobus Grobbleaar, Tian Meyer, Alwyn Hollenbach, James Kamana.

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