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Lions promise to pick their best for Crusaders

Lions coach Eugene Eloff insists that Lions will not be an easy win for the Crusaders. Last month the Cheetahs picked a second string team and got whacked by the Crusaders at the AMI Stadium.

Cheetahs coach Naka Drotske realised that there was little chance of his team beating the Crusaders so he opted to rest some of his top players.

Lions coach Eugene Eloff has admitted that he will rest some players he feels have been over-worked, but said there is no temptation to make mass changes.

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“I’m going to give some players a rest but I’m not going to make too many changes. This is not a match which we will be window dressing.”, he told Stuff.

The Lions have won one match this season and it came in the opening round when they pipped the Cheetahs 23-22. They also have a draw from when they faced the Reds at Ellis Park.

Crusaders rookie Hamish Gard will start at first-five this week as Dan Carter is still out injured.When asked if Dan Carter’s loss will weaken the Crusaders Eloff said, “I’m not stupid enough to fall for that.”

“He’s a great player but a team revolves around 15 players, not one. The Crusaders have got a great system for bringing new players through.”

One first choice player who is expected to return is Springbok loose forward Joe van Niekerk who was withdrawn just before the Highlanders match because of illness.

“He should be ready. He just had a bit of ‘flu and you’ll likely see him at No. 7.”

The Lions will be looking to bounce back if at all possible after losing to the Highlanders who as Eloff explains lost the match due to inexperience.

“It’s typical of a young squad, they don’t show enough patience.

“That is the big thing we have to learn.”

The Crusaders & Lions are expected to name their teams tomorrow.   

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