It is a huge test that awaits the Lions in Johannesburg this weekend when they are back at home against the Waratahs.
The Lions finds them in the strange position at the bottom of the South African log.
This is a place they have not been for years for the the team who has been playing in finals the last couple of years.
There have been plenty of disruptions within the Lions this year from key players leaving, players injured at crucial stages of the competition and their coach leaving the tour down under due to some personal struggles.
The thing is that this side has overcome worst and to simply count them out now will be foolish.
This week sees them welcoming another team who has struggled this season and also had some off the field issues to overcome, so this will be one of those games where desperation will hopefully resolved in a cracker of a game.
Warren Whiteley is back to lead the team this weekend. Lions fans will also be happy to see that Malcolm Marx will step in the hooker position as well.
At fullback Springbok Andries Coetzee will partner with Skosan who also return to the starting team with Aphiwe Dyantyi that makes up the back three.
In the midfield Harold Vosrter and Lionel Mapoe will strengthen the backline.
Ashley-Cooper will play from the bench this weekend as Foketi will take the number thirteen jumper.
On the wing we also see Newsome replacing Clark and in the forwards we the only change is Wells starting at number eight with Swinton moving to the side of the scrum
Some Interesting Facts (OPTA)
- The Lions have won their last four Super Rugby games on the bounce against the NSW Waratahs, this after having lost six games in succession against them prior to that run.
- The Lions have won 10 of their last 12 Super Rugby games against Australian opposition but were defeated 31-20 by the Brumbies in their last such fixture; the last time they lost back-to-back games to Australian opposition was in May 2014.
- The NSW Waratahs have lost their last three games on the bounce away from home in Super Rugby; however, each of those three defeats has come by a margin of no greater than seven points.
- The Lions boast a 91% success rate at both the lineout and scrum in Super Rugby 2019, making them one of only two teams (Rebels) with a success rate of 90% or higher at both set pieces this season.
- Kurtley Beale (NSW Waratahs) has made 14 break passes this Super Rugby campaign, more than any other player in the competition.
Prediction: Lions are back at home and although they did not had a great tour they improved a hell of a lot, Lions by 9
Lions: 15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Courtnall Skosan, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 Harold Vorster, 11 Aphiwe Dyantyi, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Ross Cronje, 8 Warren Whiteley (captain), 7 Vincent Tshituka, 6 Kwagga Smith, 5 Marvin Orie, 4 Stephan Lewies, 3 Carlu Sadie, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Sti Sithole
Replacements: 16 Jan-Henning Campher, 17 Dylan Smith, 18 Johannes Jonker, 19 Wilhelm van der Sluys, 20 Marnus Schoeman, 21 Nic Groom, 22 Shaun Reynolds, 23 Tyrone Green
15 Kurtley Beale, 14 Alex Newsome, 13 Lalakai Foketi, 12 Karmichael Hunt, 11 Curtis Rona, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Nick Phipps, 8 Michael Wells, 7 Michael Hooper (captain), 6 Ned Hanigan, 5 Rob Simmons, 4 Tom Staniforth, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Damien Fitzpatrick, 1 Harry Johnson-Holmes
Replacements: 16 Andrew Tuala, 17 Tom Robertson, 18 Chris Talakai, 19 Hugh Sinclair, 20 Will Miller, 21 Jake Gordon, 22 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 23 Cam Clark