Lions

Lions ‘axe’ Bok Januarie

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The absence of Springbok Enrico Januarie is one of four changes to the Lions team that will face the Highlanders in a Super 14 Round Two match in Johannesburg on Saturday.


The continued, injury-enforced, absence of Springbok fly-half Andr’ Pretorius is another feature of the side released by coach Eugene Eloff on Wednesday.


Jano Vermaak, one of the Lions’ stand-out players in the Currie Cup competition last year, takes over at scrum-half from Januarie – who drops down to the bench.


The good news is that Springbok utility back Jaco Pretorius is fit again and comes in on the left wing, forcing brilliant young Jannie Boshoff out of the side.


Wylie Human has also recovered from his injury and will play on the right wing – forcing the other bring young start, Louis Ludik, out to fullback. Earl Rose, who wore the No.15 jersey against the Waratahs last week, will be on the replacement bench.


The centres – Jaque Fourie and Doppies la Grange – remain unchanged, while Louis Strydom will again be at fly-half, in the absence of Andr’ Pretorius.


The forward pack is unchanged, with young Brian Mujati – who was a late replacement for Kenny Mckenzie
at tighthead prop against the ‘Tahs – keeping his place in the starting XV.


The big poser is how the Lions will cope in the continued absence of Andr’ Pretorius, after Strydom’s sluggish showing last week.


Even though coach Eugene Eloff defended the Bo.10, saying part of the problem was that he played under instructions, Strydom will need t lift his game considerably if the Lions hope to get a win under the belt.


The Lions’ stand-in captain, Ernst Joubert, admitted that absence of Andr’ Pretorius is cause for concern, but also defended AStrydom.


“It’s always a big loss to lose any player, and especially the number one fly-half in the country. We will always miss a guy like him,” Joubert said of Pretorius’s ongoing hamstring injury.


“But in saying that, Louis [Strydom] stepped up and was a factor, especially in the tactical game. But no doubt, Andr”s loss was a big one.”


Lions: 15 Louis Ludik, 14 Wylie Human, 13 Jaque Fourie, 12 Doppies la Grange, 11 Jaco Pretorius, 10 Louis Strydom, 9 Jano Vermaak, 8 Willem Alberts, 7 Ernst Joubert (c), 6 Cobus Grobbelaar, 5 Anton van Zyl, 4 Cobus Grobler, 3 Brian Mujati, 2 Willie Wepener, 1 Heinke van der Merwe
Replacements: 16 Ettienne Reynecke, 17 Bertus Smit, 18 Gordon Gilfillan, 19 Franco van der Merwe, 20 Enrico Januarie, 21 Jaco van Schalkwyk, 22 Earl Rose


Date: Saturday, 7 February
Venue: Ellis Park, Johannesburg
Kick-off: 19.10 (17.10 GMT)
Referee: Paul Marks (Australia)
Touch judges: Brett Bowden (Australia), Jaco Peyper (South Africa)
Television match official: Johann Meuwesen (South Africa)


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