Lions youngsters to start against Highlanders

Date published: March 10 2016

Lions youngsters Rohan Janse van Rensburg and Jaco van der Walt will get their first start in this year's Super Rugby tournament against the Highlanders in Dunedin on Saturday.

It will be a new centre pairing of Howard Mnisi and Janse van Rensburg in midfield replacing Lionel Mapoe, who became a father on Wednesday, and Harold Vorster, who returned home after injuring his left knee again. 

In the only other change to the backline, Van der Walt replaces Andries Coetzee in a rotational move at full-back. 

In the front row, Jacques van Rooyen gets his first start with Robbie Coetzee back in the number two jumper. Ruan Dreyer starts in a rotational move which sees Julian Redelinghuys drop down to the bench.

New centre Jacques Nel, who joined the side earlier in the week, will warm the bench while Dillon Smit also earns a spot among the reserves for the first time this season.

Meanwhile, bad weather en route to Dunedin on Thursday has necessitated the aircraft carrying the Lions to turn around and the Johannesburg based side is currently in Christchurch awaiting instructions from Sanzar.

Sanzar are doing everything they can to get the side to their destination as soon as possible.

Lions: 15 Jaco Van Der Walt, 14 Ruan Combrinck, 13 Rohan Janse Van Rensburg, 12 Howard Mnisi, 11 Courtnal Skosan, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Faf De Klerk, 8 Warren Whiteley, 7 Warwick Tecklenberg, 6 Jaco Kriel, 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Andries Ferreira, 3 Ruan Dreyer, 2 Robbie Coetzee, 1 Jacques Van Rooyen 
Replacements: 16 Armand Van Der Merwe, 17 Corne Fourie, 18 Julian Redelinghuys, 19 Robert Kruger, 20 Ruan Ackermann, 21 Dillon Smit, 22.Jacques Nel, 23 Andries Coetzee

Date: Saturday, March 12
Venue: Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin
Kick-off: 19:35 local (06:35 GMT)
Referee: Chris Pollock
Assistant Referees: Jamie Nutbrown, Kane McBride
TMO: Aaron Paterson