Bandisi Maku makes a welcome and timely returns for the MTN Golden Lions this weekend. Photo by Getty Images.
The availability of two of the MTN Golden Lions’ Springboks for Saturday’s Absa Currie Cup match against Western Province at Coca-Cola Park largely compensates for the untimely injuries hooker Callie Visagie and centre Waylon Murray sustained last weekend. Kick-off is at 5pm.
Bandise Maku returns as hooker to make his first appearance in a competition match this year after making his last appearance on January 27 in a pre-season friendly against the Stormers. He replaces Callie Visagie, who has started in virtually every one of the Lions and Golden Lions’ matches this since making his debut in the first Super Rugby match on February 8.
In the backline, coach Johan Ackermann has brought in Elton Jantjies at flyhalf in the place of in-form Butch James who is moved to centre in place of Waylon Murray. The latter again injured his knee that has been troubling him since the end of last season. Jantjies has been released for provincial duty by Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer as he trimmed his squad to 26 for the Test in Argentina this weekend.
These are the only two changes to the starting side that played against the Shartks last weekend. On the bench there is the interesting inclusion of new recruit Deon Helberg, former Sevens Springbok and Tukkies and Blue Bulls wing. He replaces Gus Cronje, as the inclusion of Jantjies and James provides cover at flyhalf.
In another change to the bench Martin Bezuidenhout returns as hooker in place of Francois du Toit.
The MTN Golden Lions team to face DHL Western Province is:
15. Andries Coetzee, 14. JR Esterhuizen, 13. Lionel Mapoe, 12. Butch James, 11. Anthony Volmink, 10. Elton Jantjies, 9. Michael Bondisio, 8. Warren Whiteley, 7. Josh Strauss, 6. Cobus Grobbelaar, 5. Franco van der Merwe, 4. Hendrik Roodt, 3. Jacobie Adriaanse, 2. Bandise Maku, 1. JC Janse van Rensburg (Captain).
Replacements: 16. Martin Bezuidenhout, 17. CJ van der Linde, 18. Willie Britz, 19. Jaco Kriel, 20. Ross Cronje, 21. Deon Helberg, 22. Ruan Combrinck.
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