Lions captain Joubert returns




The return of Lions rugby captain Ernst Joubert is one of three changes to the run-on side beaten by the Blues, for Friday’s night’s Super 14 match against the Western Force at Ellis Park.

All three changes are amongst the forwards, although centre Jaco Pretorius has been bracketed with Jaco van Schalkwyk.

There is some concern about Pretorius’ hamstring injury, and a decision on his fitness will be made later. Joubert replaces Franco van der Merwe as No 7 flank.

Joubert injured vertebrae in his back in a pre-season warm-up against the Bulls in Windhoek and has not played since.

In another loose forward change, Joe van Niekerk gets his first start this season after impressing in his two runs as replacement.

He replaces Willem Alberts at No 8. Willem Stoltz, who has returned from Agen in France but didn’t seem fit enough for Super 14 action four weeks ago when he played in a warm-up against the Sharks in Durban, has worked hard since then and will start in place of Anton van Zyl.

The Lions team is:

Louis Ludik, Dusty Noble, Jaco Pretorius/Jaco van Schalkwyk, Doppies le Grange, Ryno Benjamin, Louis Strydom, Jano Vemaak, Joe van Niekerk, Ernst Joubert (capt.), Cobus Grobbelaar, Willem Stoltz, Gerhard Mostert, Ross Geldenhuys, Willie Wepener, Heinke van der Merwe.

Replacements: Ethienne Reynecke, Gert-Andries van der Merwe, Franco van der Merwe, Willem Alberts, Chris Jonck, Earl Rose, Jaco van Schalkwyk/Jannie Boshoff.


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