Elton Jantjies back for Lions
July 25, 2013
Elton Jantjies failed to impress with the Stormers © Getty Images
Elton Jantjies will start for the Lions in the first leg of the South African Super Rugby promotion-relegation play-off against Southern Kings at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth.
Jantjies returned to the Johannesburg-based team after a disappointing Super Rugby season on loan at the Stormers, from whose team he was dropped for the final home-and-away game against the Bulls. He is but one player to rejoin the side as the Lions seek to regain Super Rugby status, with second-row Franco van der Merwe and hooker Martin Bezuidenhout back from the Sharks and the Stormers respectively.
Darron Nell, meanwhile, will captain Southern Kings in Port Elizabeth, assuming the reins after Andries Strauss was ruled out after breaking a hand in training last Friday. Shane Gates replaces Strauss in the centres to make his first start at this level, while SP Marais returns at fullback and Demetri Catrakilis is recalled to fly-half in major changes to the side that struggled against the Sharks in their last match of the Super Rugby home-and-away season. Hadleigh Parkes, who played in the centres earlier in the season, returns on the right wing with Marcello Sampson on the other flank.
The Lions defeated the Kings 41-31 in a pre-Super Rugby challenge in February, and they are undefeated in four subsequent matches, including a victory over Samoa, as they seek to regain their Super Rugby status.
Kings: SP Marais; Marcello Sampson, Ronnie Cooke, Shane Gates, Hadleigh Parkes; Demetri Catrakilis, Shaun Venter; Jacques Engelbrecht, Wimpie van der Walt, Cornell du Preez; David Bulbring, Darron Nell (captain); Kevin Buys, Bandise Maku, Schalk Ferreira. Replacements: Charl du Plessis, Hannes Franklin, Steven Sykes, Devin Oosthuizen, Nicolas Vergallo, George Whitehead, Waylon Murray.
Lions: Ruan Combrinck; Deon van Rensburg, Stokkies Hanekom, Dylan des Fountain, Anthony Volmink; Elton Jantjies, Michael Bondesio; Warren Whiteley, Derrick Minnie, Jaco Kriel; Franco van der Merwe, Hendrik Roodt; Julian Redelinghuys, Martin Bezuidenhout, JC Janse van Rensburg. Replacements: Robbie Coetzee, Ruan Dreyer, Willie Britz, Warwick Tecklenburg, Ross Cronje, Marnitz Boshoff, Chrysander Botha.
Greg Growden and Russell Barwick preview the Super Rugby semi-finals
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