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Super Rugby: Western Force v Lions preview
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Lions head coach Johan Ackermann has made changes to his starting XV for Saturday's clash with Western Force in Perth.
After three losses in the first three games of the side's tour of Australia and New Zealand, the Lions coach has decided to act.
In the forwards, Ackermann has made six changes, which includes a new front five. Corne Fourie, Armand van der Merwe and Ruan Dreyer all start, with Rudi Mathee and Franco Mostert the selections in the second row.
Jaco Kriel - who scored in the loss to the Waratahs - and Warren Whiteley are the only survivors in the pack, Warwick Tecklenburg will join them for his third appearance in the Lions' back row.
Only fly-half Marnitz Boshoff manages to retain his place in a back line also featuring six changes, some of which were enforced as Lionel Mapoe, Courtnal Skosan and Derick Minnie have all flown back to South Africa due to injuries.
Full-back Coenie van Wyk and centre Alwyn Hollenbach arrived in Australia on Monday and come straight into the starting XV.
For Western Force, wing Dane Haylett-Petty and lock Wilhelm Steenkamp return to the starting line-up.
Haylett-Petty returns from injury to replace Marcel Brache on the right wing after Brache picked up an ankle injury against the Stormers.
Adam Coleman will drop to the bench in favour of Steenkamp, who returns to the starting XV after being on the bench for the last round.
The Force have retained the remainder of the 23 from last weekend's loss in Cape Town.
Western Force head coach Michael Foley says his side is looking forward to returning to the 'Force Field' on Saturday, with a play-off spot still in their sights.
"We love playing at home and we're looking forward to the game this weekend," said Foley.
"The Lions have proven to be a dangerous side on the back of a strong set piece and their commitment to play for each other, and I believe the boys are refocused and ready to rip in."
Lions: 15 Van Wyk, 14 Jonker, 13 Van Rensburg, 12 Hollenbach, 11 Volmink, 10 Boshoff, 9 Cronje, 1 Fourie, 2 Van der Merwe, 3 Dreyer, 4 Mathee, 5 Mostert, 6 Kriel, 7 Tecklenburg, 8 Whiteley (capt)
Replacements: 16 Coetzee, 17 van Rooyen, 18 Redelinghuys, 19 Britz, 20 De Wit, 21 De Klerk, 22 Jantjies, 23 Watermeyer
Force: 15 Hayward, 14 Haylett-Petty, 13 Tuatara-Morrison, 12 Burton, 11 Cummins, 10 Ebersohn, 9 Prior, 1 Cowan, 2 Charles, 3 Longbottom, 4 Wykes, 5 Steenkamp, 6 Cottrell, 7 Hodgson (capt), 8 McCalman
Replacements: 16 Tessmann, 17 Faulkner, 18 Hoskins, 19 Coleman, 20 Stander, 21 Turner, 22 Holmes, 23 Dellit
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|Friday 13th February|
|06:35||Crusaders vs Melbourne Rebels|
|08:40||Brumbies vs Reds|
|17:10||Lions vs Hurricanes|
|Saturday 14th February|
|06:35||Blues vs Chiefs|
|15:05||Sharks vs Cheetahs|
|17:05||Bulls vs Stormers|
|Sunday 15th February|
|06:05||Waratahs vs Western Force|
|Friday 20th February|
|06:35||Chiefs vs Brumbies|
|08:40||Melbourne Rebels vs Waratahs|
|17:10||Bulls vs Hurricanes|
|Saturday 21st February|
|06:35||Highlanders vs Crusaders|
|08:40||Reds vs Western Force|
|15:05||Stormers vs Blues|
|17:10||Sharks vs Lions|
|Friday 27th February|
|06:35||Highlanders vs Reds|
|11:00||Western Force vs Hurricanes|
|17:10||Cheetahs vs Blues|
|Saturday 28th February|
|06:35||Chiefs vs Crusaders|
|08:40||Melbourne Rebels vs Brumbies|
|15:05||Bulls vs Sharks|
|17:10||Lions vs Stormers|
|Friday 6th March|
|06:35||Chiefs vs Highlanders|
|08:40||Brumbies vs Western Force|
|Saturday 7th March|
|06:35||Blues vs Lions|
|08:40||Reds vs Waratahs|
Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com