Emirates Lions Name Exciting Side To Face Leinster


Emirates Lions head coach Ivan van Rooyen is set to unleash the Junior Springbok duo of Ruan Venter and Quan Horn when his side takes on Leinster in the Vodacom United Rugby Championship at the RDS Arena on Friday.

The two, who have been impressive in junior and senior provincial competitions in the last year, will line up in a match 23 which sees centre Wandisile Simelane and Jordan Hendrikse make their return to the starting XV.

“We’re excited to see how Ruan and Quan go tomorrow. It’s an extended opportunity for them to immerse themselves into our system and ultimately express their talent on the big stage,” said Van Rooyen.

Van Rooyen further went on to comment on the privilege of touring as a team but at the same focusing on the job at hand come the weekend.

“Touring is always a great opportunity for the guys to strengthen bonds and build on our culture, which bodes well for team culture and ultimately on-field synergy.”

“In terms of our approach tomorrow night, the catalyst for us will be the ability to adapt our style of play and our decision making at key moments during the game,” cautions Van Rooyen.

Van Rooyen is optimistic about his side’s set piece play despite the challenges at lock, with a considerable amount of his jumpers out with injury.

“The focus will be ensuring we get accurate line-out ball to create a platform for us to launch our attack and hold onto possession for as long as we can. Leinster is a side that thrives on getting their hands on the ball,” he concluded.

Elsewhere, Lunga Ncube and Nico Steyn are in line to make their competition debuts.

Emirates Lions: 15.Quan Horn 14. Stean Pienaar 13. Wandisile Simelane 12. Burger Odendaal 11. Edwill van der Merwe 10. Jordan Hendrikse 9. Morne van den Berg 8. Francke Horn 7. Ruan Venter 6. Jaco Kriel (c) 5. Ruben Schoeman 4. PJ Steenkamp 3. Carlu Sadie 2. Jaco Visagie 1. Sti Sithole Replacements: 16. PJ Botha 17. Morgan Naude 18. Ruan Dreyer 19. Lunga Ncube 20. Sibusiso Sangweni 21. Nico Steyn 22.Manuel Rass 23.Tiaan Swanepoel