Lions head coach Johan Ackermann has named his team to play the Sharks at Kings Park in Durban with Elton Jantjies starting at flyhalf.
After playing for the Stormers last year Jantjies will make his long-awaited return having fully recovered from his shoulder injury.
As a result, a backline reshuffle sees Marnitz Boshoff shifted to fullback as Chrysander Botha starts at left wing and Ruan Combrinck moves across to right wing.
Deon van Rensburg will start at outside centre.
In the forwards, Ackermann has opted largely for consistency, making just one change in the front row.
Willie Wepener comes into the starting line-up in the hooker berth, as Robbie Coetzee shifts to the bench to provide cover.
On the bench, Corne Fourie has earned selection and will look to make his Super Rugby debut on Saturday.
15. Marnitz Boshoff,14. Ruan Combrinck ,13. Deon van Rensburg ,12. Stefan Watermeyer,11. Chrysander Botha,10. Elton Jantjies,9. Faf de Klerk,8. Warren Whiteley (c),7. Warwick Tecklenburg,6. Jaco Kriel,5. Franco van der Merwe,4. Franco Mostert,3. Julian Redelinghuys,2. Willie Wepener,1. Schalk van der Merwe
Replacements :16. Robbie Coetzee,17. Corne Fourie,18. Ruan Dreyer,19. MB Lusaseni ,20. Willie Britz,21. Ross Cronje,22. JW Jonker,23. Coenie van Wyk