The second Super Rugby match on Saturday in South Africa is in Johannesburg where the Lions host the Blues at Emirates Airlines (Ellis) Park, Johannesburg.
The Lions had a bye last week and in their last match they were beaten by the Hurricanes at home.
The Blues beat the Kings last week and have put some early season wobbles behind them and are now back in contention for the play offs and have won their last three matches.
Before the loss to the Hurricanes the Lions had won three matches in a row. Their record for the season is played nine matches and won six.
The Blues have played nine as well but they have won five and drawn one.
The Lions have played the Blues 17 times in Super Rugby since 1998 and the Lions have won 5 matches. That gives the a record of winning 29% of their matches against the Blues.
The Lions have had home advantage over the Blues on 9 occasions and in those matches the Lions have won three and lost six. That means the Lions have a record of winning 33% of their home matches against the Blues.
The average score when the Lions host the Blues is : Lions 27 Blues 38.
The Lions have been able to start Elton Jantjies in this match as he has recovered from an injury sustained against the Hurricanes. Jantjies starts alongside Ross Cronje who is on the bench. The Lions will also have their regular front row back with both Malcolm Marx and Julian Redelinghuys back in the starting line-up.
At centre Rohan Janse van Rensburg will partner Lionel Mapoe in midfield with Howard Mnisi moving to the bench.
The Blues will be without Josh Bekhuis due to injury. This will be the first time he has missed a match for the Auckland side this season.
Bekhuis tweaked his calf in the win over the Kings in Port Elizabeth and he has not recovered sufficiently to be available for selection.
With Bekhuis being on the sidelines the aggressive Hoani Matenga to take his place for his third start in the last five games.
The Blues are expecting major battle up-front so All Black Charlie Faumuina returns to start in the front row alongside the in-form Sam Prattley and skipper James Parsons.
Robust loose forward Joe Edwards moves into the reserves with Steven Luatua providing the lock cover. The back-line remains unchanged from last week’s game against the Kings.
The Bookies have given the Blues a 7 point start for this Match – with an offer of up to $200 in Bonus bets. The Blues will be going up against an in-form and rested Lions side who are used to playing at altitude. The Lions should win this match by 5.
This Match will be shown on TV in NZ (Sky), Aus (Fox Sports), SA (SuperSport) and in the UK on Sky Sports 2 on the Red Button.
Average score: Lions 20 Blues 33
Last five results
07 Mar 2015 Lions v Blues 13-10 Albany
15 Mar 2014 Lions v Blues 39-36 Johannesburg
11 May 2012 Lions v Blues 3-25 Auckland
04 Mar 2011 Lions v Blues 32-41 Johannesburg
08 May 2010 Lions v Blues 14-56 Johannesburg
Lions overall record against the Blues
Played 17, Wins 5, Losses 12, Draws 0
Match No.92 :Lions v Blues
Date : Saturday 14 May 2016
Venue : Emirates Airlines Park, Johannesburg
Kick Off local: 19:15 local
Referee: Jaco van Heerden
Assistant Ref 1:Jaco Peyper
Assistant Ref 2:Pro Legoete
TMO :Shaun Veldsman
15 Jaco van der Walt, 14 Ruan Combrinck, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12.Rohan Janse van Rensburg , 11 Courtnall Skosan, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Ross Cronje, 8 Warren Whiteley, 7 Warwick Tecklenburg, 6 Jaco Kriel, 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Andries Ferreira, 3. Julian Redelinghuys, 2. Malcolm Marx, 1 Dylan Smith
Replacements: 16. Armand van der Merwe , 17 Corne Fourie, 18 Jacques van Rooyen, 19 Ruan Ackermann, 20 Cyle Brink, 21.Faf de Klerk , 22 Howard Mnisi, 23 Sylvian Mahuza
Sam Prattley, James Parsons (c), Charlie Faumuina, Patrick Tuipulotu, Hoani Matenga, Jerome Kaino, Tanerau Latimer, Steven Luatua; Bryn Hall, Ihaia West, Tevita Li, Piers Francis, George Moala, Melani Nanai, Lolagi Visinia.
Replacements: Quentin MacDonald, Nic Mayhew, Ofa Tu’ungafasi, Kara Pryor, Joe Edwards; Billy Guyton, Matt McGahan, Male Sau.