Super Rugby: Lions v Stormers match preview
The Lions hope to build on their winning start to the Super Rugby season when they take on the Stormers on Saturday.
Last Updated: 27/02/14 3:34pm
Johan Ackermann's side missed out on last year's competition after being relegated but made a winning return against the Cheetahs last week thanks to the boot of fly-half Marnitz Boshoff.
The hosts make two changes from the side which secured that victory as Faf de Klerk and Alwyn Hollenbach replace injured duo Michael Bondesio and Lionel Mapoe at scrum-half and centre respectively.
Boshoff takes his place at fly-half again and is confident the Lions have what it takes to be competitive in the league on a regular basis.
"We are used to the pressure and how the referees make the calls, so those small little things will help and the fact that the guys got that first game out of the way - the uncertainty about where you are," said Ackermann.
"Hopefully the tempo, the heat and the altitude will work for us but it is still an interesting game lying ahead."
The Stormers, who have not lost to the Lions in nine previous Super Rugby contests, name a new-look side for their first game of the season in the wake of a string of departures and injury absentees.
Andries Bekker, Bryan Habana, Joe Pietersen and Gerhard van den Heever have all left the Stormers, while Eben Etzebeth and Juan de Jongh are out due to injury.
Four new players - including Argentina lock Manuel Carizza - are therefore set to make their debuts after being named in the matchday 23.
Lions: 15 Botha, 14 Van Rensburg, 13 Watermeyer, 12 Hollenbach, 11 Combrinck, 10 Boshoff, 9 De Klerk; 1 S van der Merwe, 2 Coetzee, 3 Redelinghuys, 4 Mostert, 5 F van der Merwe, 6 Kriel, 7 Minnie, 8 Whiteley (c).
Replacements: 16 Wepener, 17 Van Rooyen, 18 Dreyer, 19 Lusaseni, 20 Tecklenburg, 21 Cronje, 22 Jonker, 23 Van Wyk.
Stormers: 15 Aplon, 14 Van Wyk, 13 Van der Spuy, 12 De Villiers (c), 11 De Allende, 10 Catrakilis, 9 Schreuder; 1 Kitshoff, 2 Ntubeni, 3 Malherbe, 4 Elstadt, 5 Carizza, 6 Kolisi, 7 Burger, 8 Vermeulen.
Replacements:16 Fourie, 17 Kebble, 18 Cilliers, 19 Rhodes, 20 Carr, 21 Groom, 22 Coleman, 23 Eksteen.
Watch Lions v Stormers on Sky Sports 2 at 5pm on Saturday. Coverage continues behind the red button at 6pm.