EPCR Challenge Cup – Emirates Lions Name Line-up To Host Ospreys


The Emirates Lions head into Round 4 of the EPCR Challenge Cup for an encounter against Welsh outfit Ospreys in what will be the Johannesburg side’s first home fixture for 2024. After the disappointment of last week’s defeat against Pool B leaders Montpellier, Ivan van Rooyen’s men will be aiming for a positive result in front of the Lions faithful this Sunday afternoon at Emirates Airline Park.

The Lions mentor has named talented pivot Kade Wolhuter is his match 23 which also sees the return of Springbok Ruan Dreyer after recovering from a wrist injury. Also returning to the side is scrumhalf Morne van den after completing his concussion protocol for a possible appearance off the bench.

Sanele Nohamba starts at halfback for Sunday’s clash alongside Gianni Lombard, which sees a new 9/10 pairing for the men from Doornfontein.

Speaking ahead of Sunday, Ivan ‘Cash’ van Rooyen was wary of the tough weeks ahead for his side in all international competitions, but backed his rotation policy which sees players being rewarded for stellar performances.

“Ospreys have been going well. Their attack is very good and their defence is probably the most improved in the competition, he praised.

“We really want to put in a big performance especially here at home. Looking at our roster in the next few weeks and the number of tough games coming up, it’s important for us to put up a good performance this week heading into a packed schedule of local URC derbies.

“As a result of the improved performances last week in France, there are one or two rewards in the match 23 ahead of Sunday’s game for deserved opportunities for those players to have another crack against Ospreys,” he concluded.

Emirates Lions: 1. JP Smith, 2. PJ Botha, 3. Asenathi Ntlabakanye, 4. Ruben Schoeman, 5. Reinhard Nothnagel, 6. JC Pretorius, 7. Emmanuel Tshituka, 8. Francke Horn, 9. Sanele Nohamba, 10. Gianni Lombard, 11. Edwill van der Merwe, 12. Marius Louw (c), 13. Henco van Wyk, 14. Richard Kriel, 15. Quan Horn. Replacements: 16. Jaco Visagie, 17. Morgan Naude, 18. Ruan Dreyer, 19. Darrien Landsberg, 20. Hanru Sirgel, 21. Morne van den Berg, 22. Kade Wolhuter, 23. Erich Cronje.