JOHANNESBURG – The Lions have named a 25-man squad, including centre Wandisile Simelane, for their four-match Super Rugby tour of Australia.
Simelane, who failed to make the Lions team for their first two matches this season, but was drafted onto the bench for last weekend’s third round tie against the Stormers, effectively replaces Duncan Matthews in the squad.
Simelane and Manuel Rass will fight it out on tour for the No 13 jersey, while Dan Kriel looks set to fill the No 12 role.
Also back in the squad is fit-again wing Jamba Ulengo, but there is no place for experienced scrumhalf Ross Cronje, who only returned to action for a Lions XV last week after a long layoff due to injury.
Lions boss Ivan van Rooyen has gambled somewhat by including just two scrumhalves in his tour group, namely fit-again Andre Warner and rookie Morne van den Berg.
There are also only two hookers in the squad – Pieter Jansen and Jon-Henning Campher – while Willem Alberts, the 35-year-old former Springbok loose-forward, will boost a young and largely inexperienced back-row.
The Lions fly out of South Africa on Saturday for four matches in Australia, against the Waratahs (Feb 28), Rebels (Mar 7), Blues (Mar 14) and Highlanders (March 21).
— Emirates Lions (@LionsRugbyCo) February 20, 2020
The Lions squad:
Backs: Andries Coetzee, Tyrone Green, Courtnal Skosan, Jamba Ulengo, Manuel Rass, Wandisile Simelane, Dan Kriel, Elton Jantjies, Shaun Reynolds, Andre Warner, Morne van den Berg
Forwards: Willem Alberts, Len Massyn, Hacjivah Dayimani, Marnus Schoeman, Vincent Tshituka, Marvin Orie, Ruben Schoeman, Wilhelm van der Sluys, Pieter Jansen, Jan-Henning Campher, Frans van Wyk, Jannie du Plessis, Carlu Sadie, Dylan Smith, Sti Sithole