The Lions have called on the services of former Western Province prop CJ van der Linde who forms part of a strong starting line-up that will take on the Cape side in their Currie Cup semifinal on Saturday.
Van der Linde, who recently returned from the World Cup, takes the place of injured loosehead prop JC Janse van Rensburg, but otherwise the team has a familiar look about it despite being markedly different from the side that did duty against the Sharks last week.
The Johannesburg side already had top position on the log secured before the kick-off in Durban last week and as a result coach John Mitchell rested many of his frontline players who had played for the majority of the season.
The Lions have had great continuity this season and are back to their strongest team but they will face a serious test on home turf against a Western Province team that has been boosted by the return of a number of Springbok players who are back from World Cup duty in New Zealand.
Doppies la Grange moves from inside to outside centre to make room for Alwyn Hollenbach and he knocks Dylan des Fountain to the bench in the process. Young flyhalf Elton Jantjies is back alongside Hollenbach and he will be backed up by veteran Springbok Butch James who has been named on the bench.
In the pack skipper Joshua Strauss is back in the No.8 jersey, with Warren Whiteley moving to the bench and the versatile Michael Rhodes moves back to flank after playing in the second row for the last few weeks.
Fellow loose forward Derick Minnie is also back in the starting line-up while Rhodes' place at lock is occupied by stalwart Franco van der Merwe.
There is also a completely new front row with Pat Cilliers packing down at tighthead alongside Bandise Maku and Van der Linde, and the duo of prop Jacobie Adriaanse and hooker Martin Bezuidenhout droppping down to the bench.
The Lions will be desperate to follow through on their consistent form this season, but they will be aware that they will have to be on top of their game if they are to book a home Final next week.
Lions team: 15 Jaco Taute, 14 Deon van Rensburg, 13 Doppies la Grange, 12 Alwyn Hollenbach, 11 Michael Killian, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Michael Bondesio, 8 Joshua Strauss (captain), 7 Michael Rhodes, 6 Derick Minnie, 5 Franco van der Merwe, 4 Wikus van Heerden, 3 Patric Cilliers, 2 Bandise Maku, 1 CJ Van der Linde.
Replacements: 16 Martin Bezuidenhout, 17 Jacobie Adriaanse, 18 Warren Whiteley, 19 Cobus Grobbelaar, 20 Butch James, 21 Dylan Des Fountain, 22 James Kamana.
Date: Saturday, October 22
Venue: Coca-Cola Parl, Johannesburg
Kick-off: 17.00 (15.00 GMT)
Referee: Jaco Peyper
Assistant referees: Stuart Berry, Cobus Wessels
TMO: Gerrie Coetzee
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