Vodacom Western Province coach Allister Coetzee expects another stern test of his team's character when they take on the Lions in an Absa Currie Cup match at Ellis Park in Johannesburg on Friday evening.
WP will be hoping to get back to winning ways after suffering defeats in their last two games and conceding the top position on the log to the Natal Sharks. The Lions will be looking for their fourth consecutive victory after a rather shaky start o the competition.
The Lions have selected several exciting youngsters as well as a few battle-hardened veterans and they are eager to atone for the 32-0 humiliation they suffered in the first round.
SA under-20 flyhalf Elton Jantjies is a player who has really developed nicely over the past few weeks and Coetzee expects him to play a big role for his side. "He did very well in the SA under-20 side.
"He is a very good attacking player and has a good left boot. Doppies (le Grange) was one of the best 12s in the Super 14. He does a lot of hard work, and Waylon Murray is a Bok and he's playing well for the Lions after getting a second wind at them.
"But our focus is on what we want to do. It is important that we get back on the horse, but this time we've just got to ride the thing."
Coetzee said they realise that they are at the last game of a tough and challenging phase of the competition comprising games against Griquas, Blue Bulls, Natal Sharks and now the Lions.
"Like other provinces we also sit with injuries. We are aware this will be a helluva challenge for us but next week guys like Shimange, Gio and Pieter Louw might be back for us.
"So we need to try and squeeze out a victory and then we're back into play again going forward."
The former Springbok assistant coach said he was not surprised by the Lions great surge of late. "The Lions, like any of the top four or five unions, have a lot of pride. They're a successful franchise.
"I think John Mitchell is a great disciplinarian. He started with that, and you can see that in the way they play and the structures that they've got there. It was never easy to go to Ellis Park and win there.
"Those guys are coming out there to make sure they make a statement."
Teams for Ellis Park:
Lions: 15 Jaco Taute, 14 Jannie Boshoff, 13 Waylon Murray, 12 Doppies la Grange, 11 Michael Killian, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Jano Vermaak, 8 Warren Whiteley, 7 Joshua Strauss, 6 Derick Minnie, 5 Franco van der Merwe (c), 4 George Earle, 3 Ross Geldenhuys, 2 Martin Bezuidenhout, 1 JC Janse van Rensburg.
REPLACEMENTS: 16 Edgar Marutlulle, 17 Wayne Swart, 18 Johan Snyman, 19 Renaldo Bothma, 20 JP Joubert, 21 Burton Francis, 22 Marius Delport.
Vodacom WP: 15 Conrad Jantjes, 14 JJ Engelbrecht, 13 Tim Whitehead, 12 Paul Bosch, 11 Frikkie Welsh, 10 Willem de Waal, 9 Dewaldt Duvenage, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Nick Koster, 6 Francois Louw, 5 Anton van Zyl (capt), 4 Adriaan Fondse, 3 Brok Harris, 2 Deon Fourie, 1 JD Moller.
Replacements: 16 Callie Visagie, 17 Wicus Blaauw, 18 Buhle Mxunyelwa, 19 De Kock Steenkamp, 20 Pieter Myburgh, 21 Conrad Hoffman, 22 Marcel Brache.
Referee: Mark Lawrence.