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  • Super Rugby
  • Overall Group
  • 15th Mar 2014
  • KO 13:00
  • Ground: Coca-Cola Park (Ellis Park), Johannesburg

Super Rugby: Lions v Blues preview

Last updated: 14th March 2014  

Benji Marshall running out for Blues

Benji Marshall: Set to make his first start of the season

Marnitz Boshoff Lions v Cheetahs SR 2014

Marnitz Boshoff: Shifted from full-back to fly-half

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The Lions host the Blues at Ellis Park on Saturday with both sides looking to get back to winning ways.

The Lions have already won twice so far this season but found the Sharks too good at Kings Park last time, while the Blues lost 38-22 at the Bulls.

Having faced local opposition in their first four Super Rugby outings, the pride of Johannesburg will finally take on an international opponent after missing out on the action during the 2013 season.

They will be up against a Blues outfit that will be desperate to return to Auckland with some points to show at the conclusion of their two-week tour, while the physical demands that the New Zealand sides present should give the Lions's coaching staff a better idea of just how well conditioned the group of fairly inexperienced players are.

The Lions have tweaked their backline with Marnitz Boshoff shifting from full-back to fly-half where he replaces Springbok Elton Jantjies.

Boshoff's accuracy with the boot was the key factor in his team's solid start to the season, but against the Blues his one-on-one defence is likely to be under the spotlight.

Having struggled with their set-pieces in recent times, the Blues are likely to rely on their enterprising backline players to pierce holes through what has been an impressive Lions defence.

To add to the potency they have at the back, former league player Benji Marshall will make his first start of the season, lining up at full-back in a Blues side featuring five changes to the one that lost to the Bulls last week.

Charles Piutau moves from full-back to wing to accommodate Marshall as youngster Tevita Li drops out of the side.

Pita Ahki is rewarded after scoring a try last week with a start at second five-eighths in place of Jackson Willison, who moves to the bench, while Chris Noakes replaces Simon Hickey at first five-eighths.

Lions: 15 Van Wyk, 14 Jonker, 13 Van Rensburg, 12 Watermeyer, 11 Skosan, 10 Boshoff, 9 De Klerk, 1 S van der Merwe, 2 Coetzee, 3 Redelinghuys, 4 Mostert, 5 F van der Merwe, 6 Kriel, 7 Britz, 8 Whiteley.
Replacements: 16 Wepener, 17 Fourie, 18 Dreyer, 19 Lusaseni, 20 Tecklenburg, 21 Cronje, 22 Jantjies, 23 Combrinck.

Blues: 15 Marshall, 14 Halai, 13 Moala, 12 Ahki, 11 Piutau, 10 Noakes, 9 Weepu , 1 Woodcock, 2 Parsons, 3 Faumuina, 4 Tuipulotu, 5 Donnelly, 6 O'Connor, 7 Braid, 8 Luatua.
Replacements: 16 McCartney, 17 Prattley, 18, Ta'avao, 19 Moli, 20 Manihera, 21 Hall, 22 Hickey, 23 Willison.

You can see all the action from Johannesburg as the Lions take on the Blues live on Sky Sports 2HD from 12.55pm on Saturday.

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Forthcoming Super Rugby Fixtures
TimeFixture
Super Rugby
Friday 13th February
Super Rugby
06:35Crusaders vs Melbourne Rebels
08:40Brumbies vs Reds
17:10Lions vs Hurricanes
Saturday 14th February
06:35Blues vs Chiefs
15:05Sharks vs Cheetahs
17:05Bulls vs Stormers
Sunday 15th February
06:05Waratahs vs Western Force
Friday 20th February
06:35Chiefs vs Brumbies
08:40Melbourne Rebels vs Waratahs
17:10Bulls vs Hurricanes
Saturday 21st February
06:35Highlanders vs Crusaders
08:40Reds vs Western Force
15:05Stormers vs Blues
17:10Sharks vs Lions
Friday 27th February
06:35Highlanders vs Reds
11:00Western Force vs Hurricanes
17:10Cheetahs vs Blues
Saturday 28th February
06:35Chiefs vs Crusaders
08:40Melbourne Rebels vs Brumbies
15:05Bulls vs Sharks
17:10Lions vs Stormers
Friday 6th March
06:35Chiefs vs Highlanders
08:40Brumbies vs Western Force
Saturday 7th March
06:35Blues vs Lions
08:40Reds vs Waratahs

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Phil Edwards

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