Emirates Lions Name Line-up For EPCR Challenge Cup Fixture Against USAP


The Emirates Lions will open their 2023/24 EPCR Challenge Cup account against French outfit USA Perpignan this Sunday at the Stade Aimé Giral.

The Lions match 23 sees a series of exciting combinations, as well as franchise debuts, locks Etienne Oosthuizen and Raynard Roets, winger Boldwin Hansen and new signing Erich Cronje. Also in line for international club debuts are front-rower Conraad van Vuuren, Izan Esterhuizen and scrumhalf Johan Mulder who recently toured with the side earlier this season.

Experienced campaigner Jaco Visagie wears the captain’s armband for the 15:00 kick-off (SA time) in a line-up which sees Nico Steyn combine with Jordan Hendrikse at nine and ten respectively.

Speaking to the media before the team’s departure on Wednesday, scrum coach Julian Redelinghuys heaped praise on Perpignan’s set-piece play but expressed his confidence on his side’s ability to hold their own at the Stade Aimé Giral.

“Having played against French teams in this competition last season, we’ve experienced their set pieces especially when it comes to scrum time, said the Lions scrum guru.

“Looking at the Top 14 competition, it’s quite interesting to see how they go about their set pieces and it’s something they pride themselves in. Having a look at their packs, they are generally heavy packs, so we expect the same from our opponents on Sunday.

“We have a lot of confidence in the guys whom we have selected for the weekend. The nice thing is that we train against one another every day at training and the competition within our squad is unbelievable with guys pushing one another constantly so it will be interesting to see how we show up this Sunday against a competitive Perpignan side.” he concluded.

USA Perpignan are currently placed 13th in their domestic French Top 14 competition.

Emirates Lions: 15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Rabz Maxwane, 13 Erich Cronje, 12 Zander du Plessis, 11 Bodwin Hansen, 10 Jordan Hendrikse, 9 Nico Steyn, 8 Hanru Sirgel, 7 Ruhan Straeuli, 6 JC Pretorius, 5 Raynard Roets, 4 Etienne Oosthuizen, 3 Ruan Smith, 2 Jaco Visagie (c), 1 Corne Fourie. Replacements: 16 Morne Brandon, 17 Morgan Naude, 18 Conraad van Vuuren, 19 Izan Esterhuizen, 20 Travis Gordon, 21 Johan Mulder, 22 Gianni Lombard, 23 Rynhardt Jonker/Sibusiso Sangweni.