The Lions have gone retro with their preparations for this year’s Super Rugby campaign.
For the first time since 1992, the Johannesburg franchise will play one of their three warm-up matches against a Barbarians XV at Ellis Park on February 4.
In a move that aims to grant some of the foremost club players in the region to test their mettle, at least five stalwarts will included in the Barbarians’ starting line-up.
The participating clubs are Brakpan, Pretoria Police, Impala, Pirates and Raiders.
Yet before that, Johan Ackermann’s charges jet off to Zimbabwe to play their neighbours from across the Jukskei river, the Bulls on January 28.
This skirmish in Harare has become an annual event for the Pretoria-based franchise.
The Lions will complete their programme with a match against the Stormers at Newlands on February 11.
That game is earmarked to be a competitive run-out as the Lions announce their final Super Rugby squad earlier that week.
Lions warm-up schedule:
28 Jan – Bulls, Harare
4 Feb – Barbarians XV, Johannesburg
11 Feb – Stormers, Cape Town