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Lions insist Southern Kings trial is no grudge match

Lions coach Johan Ackermann at training

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Article Published: Thursday 7 February 2013

Golden Lions coach Johan Ackermann has insisted that their Super Rugby warm up match for the Southern Kings at Ellis Park is not a grudge match.

The Kings replaced the Lions for the 2013 Super Rugby season and the two teams are expected to play again later this year to decide who plays in next year's Super Rugby season.

Ackermann says that there has been no mention of payback against the Eastern Cape franchise that replaced them in this year's Super Rugby tournament.

"I haven't even once this week psyched them up, to me that is not the right way... we want to perform," Ackermann said.

"We were disappointed on Saturday in certain areas and we want to fix that."

"If we do that, then regardless who is on the other side, we will win."

Ackermann made two positional changes and two injury forced changes to the side that went down 38-32 against the Bulls in Soweto last Saturday.

The Lions suffered a setback with scrumhalf Michael Bondesio and eighthman Willie Britz being ruled out for about four weeks due to injury.

Ross Cronje will replace Bondesio at number nine while JJ Breet moves into the side in the place of Britz.

Derick Minnie moves to eighthman, with Breet binding at the side of the scrum.

Ackermann once again shuffled his halfback combination with Lionel Cronje taking up the pivot position in the place of Marnitz Boshoff, who moves to fullback.

Andries Coetzee moves from fullback to the wing with Deon Helberg shifting to the bench.

While the injuries have had an adverse effect on the team selections for this clash, it would not have a severe influence on the rest of their season.

After this weekend the Lions will have a four-week break before their next match on March 16 against Mont de Marsan.

The Lions now have one less match this season after Namibia cancelled their fixture on February 23.

The team would effectively go back into pre-season mode, but Ackermann felt the break ultimately played into their hands.

"The guys worked hard the last four weeks and this break will come at a good time," he said.

"We've got the luxury of giving everybody some recovery time, they will train next week and we will give them a few days off to get some recovery."

Ackermann said by the time of the next match most of the injured players might be fully fit, which could see the return of Deon van Rensburg and CJ van der Linde.

Lions team:

Marnitz Boshoff, Andries Coetzee, Stokkies Hanekom, Alwyn Hollenbach, Anthony Volmink, Lionel Cronje, Ross Cronje, Derick Minnie, JJ Breet, Jaco Kriel, Franco Mostert, Hendrik Roodt, Ruan Dreyer, Francois du Toit, JC Janse van Rensburg.

Replacements: Robbie Coetzee, Jacques van Rooyen, Gavin Annandale, Warwick Tecklenburg, Whestley Moolman, Deon Helberg, Ruhan Nel, Dylan des Fountain.

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