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Lions v Cheetahs: Teams
At Coca-Cola Park, Saturday February 25, 5.10pm
The highly-ambitious Lions have kept faith with the majority of their Currie Cup-winning squad for the Super Rugby clash with the Cheetahs.
The key change sees Callie Visagie make his debut for the side ahead of fellow hookers Bandise Maku and Martin Bezuidenhout.
Cobus Grobbelaar has recovered from injury to start but Wikus van Heerden and Jacobie Adriaanse face late fitness tests.
Newcomer Hendrik Roodt is on standby to cover van Heerden, while Adriaanse's place on the bench will go to CJ can der Linde if he fails to recover in time.
Tewis de Bruyn has returned from Lyon in time to wear the No.9 jersey for the Cheetahs.
De Bruyn gets the nod ahead of Piet van Zyl despite missing the pre-season preparations due to his Top 14 commitments.
Nine members of the Cheetahs squad will be making their debuts, with fly-half Johan Goosen, flanker Lappies Labuschagné, former Lions winger Dusty Noble, fellow wideman Rocco Jansen, lock Andries Ferreira and prop Trevor Nyakane all starting.
On the bench, scrum-half van Zyl, hooker Hercu Liebenberg and full-back Willie le Roux are all posed for their first appearances in the competition.
Lions: 15 Jaco Taute, 14 Deon van Rensburg, 13 Doppies le Grange, 12 Alwyn Hollenbach, 11 James Kamana, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Michael Bondesio, 8 Joshua Strauss (c), 7 Derick Minnie, 6 Cobus Grobbelaar, 5 Franco van der Merwe, 4 Wikus van Heerden/ Hendrik Roodt, 3 Patric Cilliers, 2 Callie Visagie, 1 JC Janse van Rensburg.
Replacements: 16 Martin Bezuidenhout, 17 Jacobie Adriaanse/ CJ van der Linde, 18 Hendrik Roodt / Stephan Greeff, 19 Warren Whiteley, 20 Tian Meyer, 21 Butch James, 22 Michael Killian.
Cheetahs: 15 Hennie Daniller, 14 Dusty Noble, 13 Robert Ebersohn, 12 Andries Strauss, 11 Rocco Jansen, 10 Johan Goosen, 9 Tewis de Bruyn, 8 Davon Raubenheimer, 7 Lappies Labuschagné/Philip van der Walt, 6 Heinrich Brüssow, 5 Izak van der Westhuizen, 4 Andries Ferreira, 3 WP Nel, 2 Adriaan Strauss (c), 1 Trevor Nyakane.
Replacements: 16 Hercu Liebenberg, 17 Lourens Adriaanse, 18 Waltie Vermeulen, 19 Ashley Johnson, 20 Pieter van Zyl, 21 Sias Ebersohn, 22 Willie le Roux.
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Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com