Strauss Shifts To Lock
The Golden Lions play Griquas in their Absa Currie Cup match at Coca-Cola Park on Friday night with five changes to the side that beat Western Province last weekend.
Included in the five changes is the very interesting positional switch from blindside flank to lock of Josh Strauss, who replaces Hendrik Roodt, who is not available because of injury.
The only other injury-enforced change is the inclusion of CJ van der Linde in place of Jacobie Adriaanse, while the other three new faces in the starting line-up are of rotational nature.
With the Lions who have used most of their current players extensively in an injury-hit 2012, the implementation of rotational changes was just a matter of time.
Cobus Grobbelaar gets a break and moves to the bench with Jaco Kriel starting as openside flank; former Free State Cheetahs and Griffons utility forward Willie Britz gets his first start for the Lions at No 7 in place of Strauss; and Ross Cronjé comes in at scrumhalf in place of Michael Bondesio, who moves to the bench.
The Lions’ injury problems are gradually becoming less of an issue and the depth the returnees provide will become increasingly important as the long season wears on.
Utility forward Michael Rhodes is back in the matchday 22 after a long lay-off and provides cover at lock from the bench; and centre Alwyn Hollenbach returns to the bench after injury in place of Ruan Combrinck.
The other changes to the replacements are the inclusion of prop Ruan Dreyer in place of Van der Linde who moves up to the starting side; and Bondesio and Grobbelaar who swap places with Cronjé and Kriel respectively.
Hooker Callie Visagie, who missed last weekend’s match, is bracketed with Martin Bezuidenhout on the bench.
Golden Lions: 15 Andries Coetzee, 14 JR Esterhuizen, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 Butch James, 11 Anthony Volmink, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Ross Cronje, 8 Warren Whiteley, 7 Willie Britz, 6 Jaco Kriel, 5 Franco van der Merwe, 4 Joshua Strauss, 3 CJ Van der Linde, 2 Bandise Maku, 1 JC Janse van Rensburg (captain).
Replacements: 16 Callie Visagie/Martin Bezuidenhout, 17 Ruan Dreyer, 18 Michael Rhodes, 19 Cobus Grobbelaar, 20 Michael Bondesio, 21 Alwyn Hollenbach, 22 Deon Helberg.