Ivan van Rooyen’s Lions choices for first URC encounter are surprising

Ivan van Rooyen’s Lions choices for first URC encounter are surprising

When Ivan van Rooyen chose his first match day 23 for the 2017 United Rugby Season on Thursday, there weren’t many major shocks. This weekend’s match against the Bulls will feature a mix of young and seasoned players.

In his debut for the Emirates Lions against their northern neighbours, newly acquired player Marius Louw will play inside-center as predicted.

On his outside, he will be accompanied by the intriguing Henco van Wyk. In addition, Van Rooyen and company bring back experienced Springbok Andries Coetzee at No. 15, moving the potent Quan Horn to the wing.

The makeup of the loose-forwards was another major discussion point before to the Jukskei Derby, and Van Rooyen has chosen Sibusiso Sangweni, Ruhan Straeuli, and Francke Horn as his three. Jaco Kriel and Willem Albert were not selected, thus Emmanuel Tshituka will fill in as a utility forward on the bench.

Meanwhile, Reinhard Nothnagel, the team’s captain and a huge future promise for the union, will start in the second row with Ruan Venter.

In a statement issued by the union, Van Rooyen remarked, “We’re pretty happy about the squad we’ve picked as we open our account against the Bulls this weekend.”

“For us, the preseason was beneficial since it provided time for introspection and season planning.

Three months have passed since we first bonded as a group. I can’t wait to see this squad play to their full ability not only on Saturday but all season long.”

“The Jukskei Derbies have always produced outstanding rugby, and this Saturday will be no exception. Rugby fans will undoubtedly enjoy themselves at Emirates Lions Park.”

The game begins at 4.05 p.m.

Starting XV for the Lions: Andries Coetzee (15), Edwill van der Merwe (14), Henco van Wyk (13), Marius Louw (12), 10 Jordan Hendrikse, 11 Quan Horn, Nine Morne van den Berg, In place of: 16 Jaco Visagie, 8 Francke Horn, 7 Ruhan Straeuli, 6 Sibusiso Sangweni, 5 Reinhard Nothnagel (captain), 4 Ruan Venter, 3 Ruan Dreyer, 2 PJ Botha, and 1 Sti Sithole. Emmanuel Tshituka, Sanele Nohamaba, Gianni Lombard, Zander du Plessis, 17 JP Smith, 18 Ruan Smith, 19 Pieter Jansen van Vuren, 21 Sanele Nohamaba, 22

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