Stean Pienaar of the Lions. (Photo by Sydney Seshibedi/Gallo Images)

Lions make three changes for crucial Currie Cup clash with Cheetahs

While a win for the Lions could see them leap into second or third place on the standings, a defeat could see the Cheetahs vault into the top four at their expense.


Stean Pienaar of the Lions. (Photo by Sydney Seshibedi/Gallo Images)

The Lions make three changes for their first meeting with the Cheetahs since the 2019 Currie Cup final.

Burger Odendaal was ruled out of the trip to Bloemfontein after sustaining a calf injury as the Lions rallied to snatch a victory over Western Province at Ellis Park last Saturday. The heroes of that triumph for the Lions, Stean Pienaar and monster-kicker Tiaan Swanepoel retain their places in the starting XV.

Two changes to Lions backline

Dan Kriel comes in to partner Wandisile Simelane in the centres outside of skipper Elton Jantjies at flyhalf. Jantjies will reunite with Andre Warner as a halfback pairing. Ross Cronje drops out of the matchday squad while Morne van den Berg is the scrumhalf on the Lions bench.

Former Springbok Prop Jannie du Plessis is once again available for the Lions and slots in at tighthead in place of Ruan Dreyer.

The Lions have called centre Mannie Rass up into the matchday squad.

Lions head coach Ivan van Rooyen has seen his team claim fourth place with their win against Western Province, but they will be eager to put some distance between themselves and the chasing Cheetahs.  

First meeting in 2020

The match between the Cheetahs and Lions in Super Rugby Unlocked had been called off due to a COVID-19 scare. The last meeting between the two sides was the 2019 Currie Cup final but just seven players from that matchday squad are in line to feature on Saturday.

The Lions travel to Bloemfontein on Thursday (10 December) afternoon and will have their captains run in the city of roses on Friday.

No spectators will be allowed into the Toyota Stadium in line with protocols SA Rugby and the unions have agreed to.

Kick-off in Bloemfontein is at 16:30 on Saturday.

Lions team

Xerox Lions: 15 Tiaan Swanepoel, 14 Stean Pienaar, 13 Wandisile Simelane, 12 Dan Kriel, 11 Courtnall Skosan, 10 Elton Jantjies (captain), 9 André Warner, 8 Len Massyn, 7 Vincent Tshituka, 6 Jaco Kriel, 5 Willem Alberts, 4 Marvin Orie, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Jaco Visagie, 1 Sti Sithole. Replacements: 16 Jan-Henning Campher, 17 Dylan Smith, 18 Ruan Dreyer, 19 Reinhard Nothnagel, 20 Wilhelm van der Sluys, 21 Morne van den Berg, 22 Manuel Rass, 23 Roelof Smit.

Match information – Cheetahs vs Lions

Date: Saturday, 12 December 2020

Time: 16:30

Venue: Toyota Stadium, Bloemfontein

Referee: Rasta Rasivhenge

Assistant Referees: AJ Jacobs and Griffin Colby

TMO: Jaco Peyper

TV: SuperSport Rugby and Grandstand