Lions get Cheetahs in Super Rugby fixture

Golden Lions coach Johan Ackerman says his team needs to be competitive and win.

FILE: Golden Lions players celebrate with fans after their thundering win against Southern Kings at Ellis Park, which secured them a spot into Super Rugby. Picture: Lions official facebook page.

JOHANNESBURG - The Lions return to Super Rugby will see them travel to the Cheetahs to play their opening fixture on 15 February.

This is after the fixture list for next season's Super Rugby edition was announced on Monday.

The other fixtures on the opening weekend will see the Sharks entertain the Bulls while the Stormers have a bye.

Speaking on his team's tough start in the competition, Lions coach Johan Ackerman says he doesn't care who they play as long as they compete well against the best in the competition.

"This is where the players wanted to be, this was a goal that was set out in the beginning of the year to be back in Super Rugby and collectively everybody bought into that. We got back in, that's the stage they wanted. So the stage is set and it's up to us to go work hard and be competitive."

Ackerman expects the return to Super Rugby to see more fans go through the turnstiles at Ellis Park.

"I know the people would like us to win and to be competitive and hopefully we will do that on the field so that they would come out in their numbers. But it is a great stadium and hopefully they would come out if they would like to see top class rugby."

Meanwhile, Ackerman was never expecting any easy games following the release of the Super Rugby fixtures for next season.

Speaking on the fixtures, Ackerman has acknowledged the tough start but has challenged his side to perform well against the best in the competition.

"I an old saying but show me one easy game in Super Rugby. There are advantages and disadvantages but we have to be competitive enough if we want to stay in the Super Rugby."