Lions Include Five Rookies In Their Matchday 23

Photo by Jorina Raath/

Springbok flyhalf Elton Jantjies will captain a new-look Emirates Lions team against a formidable and experienced Jaguares in their first Vodacom Super Rugby fixture of 2020. The visitors will be hoping to continue their streak of winning their previous four opening weekend matches. Players making their Vodacom Super Rugby debuts this weekend are Ruben Schoeman and Tiaan Swanepoel in the starting line-up and Morne van der Berg and Manuel Rass from the bench.

Included in the Emirates Lions travelling squad were number of new faces, including the experienced former Springbok prop Jannie du Plessis, who is set to make his first Vodacom Super Rugby appearance since 2015. The Jaguares are loaded with Test players, who helped the Argentinean team to their first Vodacom Super Rugby final in 2019. 

The Emirates Lions won five of their last six Vodacom Super Rugby games against the Jaguares, including their last three on the bounce. However, the Jaguares have won their last six home games in succession, conceding an average of just 13 points per game across that span.

Elton Jantjies, Emirates Lions captain, said: “The Jaguares are a formidable team at home and they will be determined to repeat last year’s great form. We have an exciting, new-look team that will be eager to show what we can do.”

Santiago Medrano, Pumas and Jaguares prop, said: “We saw the friendly they played against the Vodacom Bulls and we know all about the Emirates Lions’ scrum. They have a very heavy and strong pack – it will be a very physical game.”

Jaguares: 1. Mayco Vivas, 2. Julian Montoya, 3. Santiago Medrano, 4. Guido Petti, 5. Lucas Paulos, 6. Francisco Gorrissen, 7. Marcos Kremer, 8. Tomas Lezana, 9. Tomas Cubelli (captain), 10. Joaquin Diaz Bonilla, 11. Emiliano Boffelli, 12. Juan Cruz Mallia, 13. Matias Moroni, 14. Bautista Delguy, 15. Santiago Carreras. Replacements: 16 Agustin Creevy, 17 Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro, 18 Joel Sclavi, 19 Javier Ortega Desio, 20 Rodrigo Bruni, 21 Felipe Ezcurra, 22 Domingo Miotti, 23 Matias Orlando.

Emirates Lions: 1. Dylan Smith, 2. Pieter Jansen, 3. Jannie du Plessis, 4. Ruben Schoeman, 5. Marvin Orie , 6. MarnusSchoeman, 7. VincentTshituka, 8. Len Massyn, 9. Andre Warner, 10. Elton Jantjies (captain), 11. Courtnall Skosan, 12. Dan Kriel, 13. Duncan Matthews, 14. Tyrone Green, 15. Tiaan Swanepoel. Replacements: 16. Jan-Henning Campher, 17. Sti Sithole, 18. Carlu Sadie, 19. Wilhelm van der Sluys, 20. RuanVermaak, 21. Hacjivah Dayimani, 22. Morne van der Berg, 23. Manuel Rass.