New flyhalf for Lions after disaster strikes on eve of Glasgow Warriors clash
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Durban - Necessity has had to be the mother of invention for the Lions ahead of Saturday’s United Rugby Championship match against the Glasgow Warriors at Scotstoun Stadium, 4.05pm kick-off.
This is because calamity has struck the flyhalf reserves after injuries to both Jordan Hendrikse and Eddie Fouche and EW Viljoen has had to be moved from his customary position at fullback to No 10.
“Injuries are a reality of the game,” said coach Ivan van Rooyen. “Losing both Jordan and Eddie is obviously a massive blow for us, meaning we have had to make a few adjustments as we prepare for Saturday.
“And with the Covid-19 regulations it's been quite a challenge (not be being able to fly in a replacement flyhalf), however we are doing our best to cope with the situation,” Van Rooyen added. “Hopefully now with the relaxation of the travel ban to the UK, in consultation with URC, we can get a replacement to join the squad as soon as possible.”
For now, though, Viljoen will have to do the job, and in other changes to the backline, Stean Pienaar, Divan Rossouw and Manuel Rass pick up their first starts of the tour.
Van Rooyen said this third match of the tour gave opportunities for other members of the squad to take their chance.
“The injuries also provide a few guys in the squad with an opportunity to showcase their talent against quality opposition in the URC,” he said.
Upfront, Jannie du Plessis and Sti Sithole start at tighthead and loosehead respectively, with Ruhan Straeuli packing down at the back of the scrum.
15 Divan Rossouw 14 Stean Pienaar 13 Manuel Rass 12 Burger Odendaal (capt) 11 Rabz Maxwane 10 EW Viljoen 9 Andre Warner 8 Ruhan Straeuli 7 Vincent Tshituka 6 Jaco Kriel 5 Pieter Janse van Vuren 4 Ruben Schoeman 3 Jannie du Plessis 2 Jaco Visagie 1 Sti Sithole.
Bench:16 PJ Botha, 17 Morgan Naude, 18 Carlu Sadie, 19 Reinhard Nothnagel, 20 Sibusiso Sangweni, 21 Morne van den Berg, 22 Matt More, 23 Wandisile Simelane.