SA Rugby has created the opportunity for our franchises to get ready for the season in a pre-season structure which will see all the franchises that took part in the Carling Currie Cup as well as Eastern Province playing each other for the next couple of weeks.
SA Rugby created these warmup matches so that our teams can get ready for the Rainbow Cup that start in April against the PRO14 side.
The first game is on Friday when the Lions and Pumas take each other on in Johannesburg.
With most teams going to trail and test their players in this pre-season games, it was no surprise that the Lions opted to give a few youngsters a chance to show what they’ve got.
The Pumas side have quality players and they have showed in the Currie Cup when they beat the Bulls young team that they are no push over side.
The Lions beat the Pumas 33-25 in the Curie Cup a few weeks ago.
The Pumas coach said that their focus has been for this first matchup against the Lions and he believe they will give the Lions a good go.
Although the Pumas will not be part of the Rainbow Cup Stonehouse want to use these games to get his squad ready for the Currie Cup.
There will be several senior players from the Lions missing in this match as most of them only return to the franchise this past week. They are only expected to play in the next three to for weeks.
The Pumas has welcome back Fouche and Le Roux Roets after they recovered from injury.
Fouche will partner Giovan Snyman while Smuts will warm the bench as cover.
Williams will shift back to fullback after a few matches at Flyhalf.
With their new coach for these warmup matches in Nkosi the Lions have picked a young side for Friday.
Nothnagel will captain the side with EW Viljoen back in the side at fullback. This makes way for Tiaan Swanepoel to be tested at ten with van den Berg his halfback partner.
Viljoen will be joined by Divan Rossouw and youngster Prince Nkabinde. In the midfield we have James Mollentze and Manni Rass.
In the pack Roelof Smit will start with Francke Horn and Marnus Schoeman with Nothnagel and Tshituka in the second row.
The match will kick-off at 19:00 on Friday
Lions: 15 EW Viljoen, 14 Prince Nkabinde, 13 Manuel Rass, 12 James Mollentze, 11 Divan Rossouw, 10 Tiaan Swanepoel, 9 Morne van den Berg, 8 Francke Horn, 7 Roelof Smit, 6 Marnus Schoeman, 5 Reinhard Nothnagel (c), 4 Emmanuel Tshituka, 3 Wiehahn Herbst, 2 PJ Botha, 1 Nathan McBeth.
Replacements: 16 Dameon Venter, 17 Banele Mthenjane, 18 Jannie du Plessis, 19 Ruhan Straeuli, 20 MJ Pelser, 21 Dillon Smit, 22 Luke Rossouw, 23 Ngia Selengbe, 24 Ruan Dreyer, 25 Izan Esterhuizen, 26 Sibusiso Sangweni.
Pumas – 15 Devon Williams, 14 Luther Obi, 13 Alwayno Visagie, 12 Wayne van der Bank, 11 Etienne Taljaard, 10 Eddie Fouche, 9 Giovan Snyman, 8 Willie Engelbrecht, 7 Ewart Potgieter, 6 Daniel Maartens, 5 Pieter Jansen van Vuren (c), 4 Brandon Valentyn, 3 Ig Prinsloo, 2 Simon Westradt, 1 Morgan Naude.
Replacements: 16 AJ le Roux, 17 Liam Hendricks, 18 Dewald Maritz, 19 Le Roux Roets, 20 Kwanda Dimaza, 21 Ginter Smuts, 22 Ali Mgijima, 23 Tapiwa Mafura.