Pretorius at 10; Joubert the captain




Lions coach Eugene Eloff, as predicted, brought back fly-half ace Andr’ Pretorius for his team’s Round Six Super 14 encounter with the table-topping Blues in Auckland on Saturday.

However, Pretorius will not wear the captaincy armband, despite having been named captain at the start of the season.

Pretorius, who played starring roles off the bench in the two-match winning streak in Australia, missed the first three weeks of the tournament with a hamstring injury.

He has now fully recovered and will play a crucial role against a very impressive and effective Blues outfit.

However, the decision to allow Joubert to retain the captaincy is an interesting one and suggest that continuity is vital for the team. It is also a huge compliment to Joubert’s leadership abilities that he is retained ahead of Pretorius.

But Eloff has made it clear that the two players – Joubert and Pretorius – will share the captaincy responsibilities and decision making on the field.

The starting XV shows three changes from that which beat the Reds 26-20 in emphatic fashion last week.

Apart from Pretorius’ return at number 10, which sees Jaco van Schalkwyk dropping down to the bench, young Louis Ludik returns on the right win in place of Wylie Human.

There is just one change in the forwards. Brian Mujati returns at tighthead prop for Bertus Smit, who also drops down to the bench.

Lions: 15 Earl Rose, 14 Louis Ludik, 13 Jaque Fourie, 12 Doppies La Grange, 11 Jaco Pretorius, 10 Andr’ Pretorius, 9 Enrico Januarie, 8 Jacques Cronj’, 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 Ethienne Reynecke, 17 Bertus Smit, 18 Franco van der Merwe, 19 Willem Alberts, 20 Jano Vermaak, 21 Louis Strydom, 22 Jaco van Schalkwyk

Date: Saturday, 10 March
Venue: Eden Park, Auckland
Kick-off: 19.35 (06.35 GMT)
Referee: Paul Marks (Australia)
Touch judges: Brett Bowden (Australia), Chris Pollock (New Zealand)
Television match official: Ben Skeen (New Zealand)
Assessor: Alan Riley (New Zealand), Arrie Schoonwinkel (South Africa)


365 Digital

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