Van der Linde and Van Rensburg on Lions tour

The Lions have named the 26-man Super Rugby squad for their tour of Australasia and despite a run of injuries only one player has been included with no Super Rugby experience this season.

The UJ Varsity Cup flank Jaco Kriel is the only member of the 26-man Lions squad announced that has not played Super Rugby for the Lions this season.

The Lions have been boosted by the availability of props JC Janse van Rensburg and CJ van der Linde as both were first injured in the Lions’ second match of the season.

The initial opinion on Janse van Rensburg was that he would be out for the remainder of the competition. Van der Linde returned two weeks ago but sat out the loss against the Brumbies because of a niggle.

Kriel made his Super Rugby debut against the Hurricanes in Wellington last year and then also played Currie Cup rugby for the Lions in their Currie Cup winning season.

Kriel is the second player to be plaucked from this year’s Varsity Cup teams. Maties lock Grant Hatting is also in the tour group after a good debut when he came on as replacement against the Brumbies.

Flyhalf Butch James will not accompany the side after his suspension for four weeks for a dangerous charge into a ruck on Friday night against the Brumbies. The last day of his suspension of four coincides with the Lions’ last match on the tour.

The Lions will play log leaders Chiefs and the Blues in New Zealand and the Reds and the Force in Australia.

Lions touring squad

Martin Bezuidenhout, Ruan Botha, Patric Cilliers, Andries Coetzee, Ruaan Combrinck, Ross Cronje, Cobus Grobbelaar, Grant Hattingh, Alwyn Hollenbach, JC Janse van Rensburg, Elton Jantjies, James Kamana, Michael Killian, Jaco Kriel, Doppies le Roux, Lionel Mapoe, Tian Meyer, Derek Minnie, Caylib Oosthuizen, Hendrik Roodt, Joshua Strauss, Jaco Taute, CJ van der Linde, Franco van der Merwe, Deon van Rensburg, Callie Visagie.

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