Lions braced for stormy Super 14 start

ON PAPER the Stormers are favourites to beat the Lions in their opening Vodacom Super 14 match at Ellis Park Stadium tomorrow.

ON PAPER the Stormers are favourites to beat the Lions in their opening Vodacom Super 14 match at Ellis Park Stadium tomorrow.

The Stormers boast several talented and experienced players like Springbok stars Schalk Burger, Ricky Januarie, Bryan Habana and Jacque Fourie, as well as exciting Bok newcomer Juan de Jongh.

Stormers coach Allister Coetzee is expecting a tough reception in Johannesburg but remains confident of victory at Ellis Park.

"We will go all out to win this match, though it will not be easy," Coetzee said.

Lions coach Dirk Muir is equally positive that his youthful outfit will also start the southern hemisphere campaign on a high note by beating the Stormers.

"The players have worked very hard in the off-season to fine-tune themselves and I think they will succeed on Saturday.

"We've got the boys who can do a good job against any team in the competition and the Stormers are no exception," said Muir when he announced his team in Johannesburg yesterday.

The match starts at 5.05pm.

The Lions squad is:

Earl Rose, Wandile Mjekevu, Deon van Rensburg, Doppies la Grange, Wandile Mjekev, Carlos Spencer, JP Joubert, Jonathan Mokuena, Franco van der Merwe, Cobus Grobbelaar (captain), Willem Stoltz, Jacques Lombard, Ross Geldenhuys, Hannes Franklin and Heinke van der Merwe.

The Stormers team is:

Joe Pietersen, Gio Aplon, Fourie, De Jongh, Habana, Peter Grant, Dewaldt Duvenage, Duane Vermeulen, Francois Louw, Burger (captain), Andries Bekker, De Kock Steenkamp, Brok Harris, Tiaan Liebenberg, Wicus Blaauw.

TODAY'S FIXTURES:

Blues vs Hurricanes (Auckland), Western Force vs Brumbies (Perth) and Cheetahs vs Bulls (Bloemfontein).

TOMORROW:

Crusaders vs Highlanders (Christchurch), Reds vs Waratahs (Brisbane) and Sharks vs Chiefs (Durban).

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