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The Lions get 'Punisher' boost

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The Lions get 'Punisher' boost ahead of South African super clash

The Emirates Lions will welcome back stalwart Springbok winger Ruan Combrinck for their important Super Rugby derby against the DHL Stormers on Saturday afternoon in Johannesburg.

The game at Emirates Airline Park kicks off at 5.15 pm.

On Friday morning an unchanged Cell C Sharks side faces the in-form Hurricanes in Napier in the final fixture on their overseas tour, where they will be eager to build on last week’s excellent win over the Blues in Auckland.

The Bulls have a bye this weekend, and in the remaining South African Conference game, the Jaguares host the Crusaders in Buenos Aires on Saturday evening.

The Emirates Lions welcome back the hard-running Combrinck following his recovery from the shoulder injury he suffered a few months ago in Japan. His return is one of two changes in the Highveld team’s line-up against their Cape Town rivals.

Combrinck replaces Sylvian Mahuza on the right wing, while the other change sees the return of lock Marvin Orie to the starting line-up in a rotational switch with Andries Ferreira.

Swys de Bruin’s team, who will enter the match with the comfort of knowing that they have a bye next week before their Australasian tour, will be determined to bounce back to winning ways after losing their 2017 final rematch against the Crusaders last Sunday. The Cape side, meanwhile, travels to Gauteng for the second week in a row, where they will seek their first away-win this season.

The DHL Stormers made several injury-enforced changes to their starting line-up. Injuries to scrumhalf Justin Phillips (rib) and flanker Cobus Wiese (hamstring) saw Jano Vermaak – in what will be his first start of the season – and Chris van Zyl being drafted in. Van Zyl slots in the second row alongside Jan de Klerk, with Pieter-Steph du Toit moving to the flank.

The Emirates Lions have won their last 17 South African derbies, with their last home defeat against South African opposition being in February 2015 against the Cape side.

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The Lions get 'Punisher' boost ahead of South African super clash