Boks back for Lions

The Lions have named their strongest available side for a crucial Super Rugby clash with the Sharks in Johannesburg on Saturday.

Despite being without captain and number eight Warren Whiteley, this is still an impressive XV that includes Springboks Julian Redelinghuys, Franco Mostert, Jaco Kriel, Faf de Klerk, Elton Jantjies, Lionel Mapoe and Ruan Combrinck.

Ruan Ackermann starts in place of the injured Whiteley and is joined in the back-row by Warwick Tecklenburg and the in-form Kriel.

Elsewhere, hooker Malcolm Marx joins Dylan Smith and Redelinghuys in the front-row while Andries Ferreira locks in alongside Mostert.

The Lions are currently sitting seven points ahead of the Sharks in Africa 2 and can wrap up top spot with a victory at Ellis Park on Saturday.

Lions: 15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Ruan Combrinck, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 Rohan Janse van Rensburg, 11 Courtnall Skosan, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Faf de Klerk, 8 Ruan Ackermann, 7 Warwick Tecklenburg, 6 Jaco Kriel, 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Andries Ferreira, 3 Julian Redelinghuys, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Dylan Smith
Replacements: 16 Armand Van Der Merwe, 17 Corne Fourie, 18 Jacques van Rooyen, 19 Lourens Erasmus, 20 Cyle Brink, 21 Ross Cronje, 22 Howard Mnisi, 23 Sylvian Mahuza

Date: Saturday, July 2
Venue: Ellis Park, Johannesburg
Kick-off: 17:10 local (15:10 GMT)
Referee: Jaco Peyper (South Africa)
Assistant Referees: Quinton Immelman (South Africa), Lesego Legoete (South Africa)
TMO: Johan Greeff (South Africa)