Lions chase first Super 14 win

LIONS coach Dick Muir has dropped Springbok Earl Rose to the bench for the Super 14 match against the Highlanders in Dunedin tomorrow in one of four changes to the starting side that went down against the Crusaders last weekend.

LIONS coach Dick Muir has dropped Springbok Earl Rose to the bench for the Super 14 match against the Highlanders in Dunedin tomorrow in one of four changes to the starting side that went down against the Crusaders last weekend.

Rose has been replaced by Michael Killian and the swap comes as no surprise after the frailties of the Springbok fullback were again exposed against the Crusaders.

On the left wing Springbok Tonderai Chavhanga gets a start in place of Wandile Mjekevu, and former All Black flyhalf Carlos Spencer replaces Burton Francis, who is injured. Lock Nico Luus, who was flown in by the Lions at the weekend for the injured George Earle, starts in the only change to the pack.

Muir said the start for Luus would test his fitness. "We want to use him and will rather start to see how he goes than bring him on later and find he can't keep up."

Heinke van der Merwe again starts from the bench. Todd Clever is fit after leaving the field with an injured shoulder last weekend.

Muir feels it's a case of using their chances tomorrow.

"We are really positive about getting a result this weekend," he said from Queenstown, where his side were training until yesterday.

"We've had a good week's preparation and go into this game confident and because a win for the Highlanders is just as important as it is for us. This will be a tough tussle with lots of pressure on us.

"The side that absorbs the pressure best and uses their chances should win, and I'm confident it will be us." - Sapa

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