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Former Gloucester backrow Kriel makes much awaited Lions comeback

Jaco Kriel /Getty Images

The Emirates Lions resume their 2020 season on this evening when they face the DHL Stormers at Loftus Versfeld in a Vodacom Super Fan Saturday doubleheader. The match will see the return to action of Jaco Kriel, who left Premiership side Gloucester at the start of the year to return to SA and the Lions.

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Kriel has recovered fully from the injury that kept him side-lined earlier in the year while Ruan Dreyer, back from his stint overseas, is back in the Lions jersey.

Elton Jantjies is retained as captain in a side that sees a host of old stalwarts combined with a some of the new faces in the Lions fold like Jaco Visagie, Burger Odendaal, Sibahle Maxwane, Divan Russouw and EW Viljoen to name but a few.

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Another Bok, Ruan Dreyer, is back from his stint overseas and will wear the No.3 jersey.

Some of the notable selections include Jaco Visagie in the No.2 jersey. In the backline, Burger Odendaal, Sibahle Maxwane and Divan Rossouw are the other new faces in the team.

EW Viljoen, a former Stormers midfielder, starts on the bench.

Lions coach Ivan van Rooyen said only three players are still carrying injuries that have prevented them from playing on Saturday.

They are utility forward Willem Alberts (bicep – a week away from return to play), prop Wiehan Herbst (hamstring- about 10 days away) and loose forward Roelof Smit (knee – two weeks away).

The Emirates Lions will run out in their Spiderman kit for this encounter. The match kicks off at 7pm SA time, 6pm UK time.

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Lions: 15 Divan Rossouw, 14 Sibahle Maxwane, 13 Wandisile Simelane, 12 Burger Odendaal, 11 Courtnall Skosan, 10 Elton Jantjies (captain), 9 Andre Warner, 8 Hacjivah Dayimani, 7 Vincent Tshituka, 6 Jaco Kriel, 5 Marvin Orie, 4 Ruben Schoeman, 3 Ruan Dreyer, 2 Jaco Visagie, 1 Dylan Smith.

Replacements: Sti Sithole, Jan-Henning Campher, Carlu Sadie, Wilhelm van der Sluys, Reinhard Nothnagel, MJ Pelser, Francke Horn, Len Massyn, Dillon Smit, Gianni Lombard, Stean Pienaar, Daniel Kriel, Manuel Rass, Jamba Ulengo, EW Viljoen.

Date: Saturday, September 26
Venue: Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria
Kick-off: 19.00 (17.00 GMT)
Referee: Marius van der Westhuizen
Assistant referees: Aimee Barrett-Theron, Morne Ferreira
TMO: Willie Vos

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