Rugby 25.2.2016 12:50 pm

Lions name their team

Lions coach Johan Ackermann. Photo: Lee Warren/Gallo Images

Lions coach Johan Ackermann. Photo: Lee Warren/Gallo Images

Lions coach Johan Ackermann on Thursday announced his team to take on the Sunwolves in Japan on Saturday in their Super Rugby opener.

Kickoff is 6.15am South African time on Saturday morning.

There are no real surprises except maybe for his decision to start Ruan Dreyer at loosehead ahead of Jacques van Rooyen who will be required to deliver the impact from the bench.

There are no debutants in the starting team but on the bench prop Dylan Smith, the coach’s son flank Ruan Ackermann and centre Rohan janse van Rensburg will get their first taste of Super Rugby.

The most experienced players are flyhalf Elton Jantjies with 54 Super Rugby caps followed by captain Warren Whiteley (52), centre Lionel Mapoe (46) and flank Jaco Kriel (38).

In a conference call on Thursday morning from Tokyo Ackermann said the team are in good spirits and ready for the opener.

“We’ve been a bit under the radar since we have arrived here with just the odd newspaper article about the game, which is great in a way,” said Ackermann.

“But we have been requested to hold a press conference on Friday with the Japan media which is a sign of the interest Super Rugby are busy creating over here,” Ackermann said from his hotel room.

“It’s a beautiful country, clean and very disciplined and we have been treated very well since we arrived here on Wednesday evening,” said Ackermann.

Teams: Lions 15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Ruan Combrinck, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 Howard Mnisi, 11 Courtnall Skosan, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Faf de Klerk, 8 Warren Whiteley (captain), 7 Warwick Tecklenburg, 6 Jaco Kriel, 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Andries Ferreira, 3 Julian Redelinghuys, 2 Robbie Coetzee, 1 Ruan Dreyer Substitutes: 16 Malcolm Marx 17 Dylan Smith, 18 Jacques van Rooyen, 19 Robert Kruger, 20 Ruan Ackermann, 21 Jaco van der Walt, 22 Harold Vorster, 23 Rohan Janse van Rensburg

Sunwolves 15 Riaan Viljoen, 14 Akihito Yamada, 13 Harumichi Tatekawa, 12 Yu Tamura, 11 Yasutaka Sasakura, 10 Tusi Pisi, 9 Atsushi Hiwasa, 8 Edward Quirk, 7 Andrew Durutalo, 6 Liaki Moli, 5 Hitoshi Ono, 4 Timothy Vond, 3 Shinnosuke Kakinaga, 2 Shota Horie (captain), 1 Keith Inagaki Substitutes: 16 Masataka Mikami, 17 Takeshi Kizu, 18 Koki Yamamoto, 19 Shinya Makabe, 20 Yoshiya Hosoda, 21 Kaito Shigeno, 22 Derek Carpenter, 23 Hajime Yamashata

 

 

 

 

 

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