Ackermann makes 3 changes for Crusaders clash

The Lions coach has made one forced change and two tactical changes to take on the Crusaders.

The Golden Lions face the Crusaders at Ellis Park on Saturday. Picture:

CAPE TOWN - Lions coach Johan Ackermann has made one forced change in the forwards and two changes in the backline to his side to take on the Crusaders at Ellis Park on Saturday.

Ackermann was forced to draft in Martin Muller at lock as a replacement for the injured Franco van der Merwe. In the backline, Andries Coetzee will start at fullback, with Lionel Mapoe coming into the starting fifteen at outside centre, with Deon van Rensburg shifting to wing.

On the substitute's bench, Malcolm Marx, Warwick Tecklenburg and Elton Jantjies have all been drafted into the match day squad and take up their places among the replacements.

Crusaders coach Todd Blackadder made six changes to the starting line-up that faced the Hurricanes last weekend.

In the forwards, lock Luke Romano's calf injury has ruled him out of contention, with Dominic Bird replacing him in the second row. Kieran Read failed to recover from a head injury suffered against the Hurricanes, meaning Luke Whitelock takes over the number eight jersey, with George Whitelock taking his place on the side of the scrum.

Stand-in skipper Ryan Crotty shifts from outside centre to inside, while Kieron Fonotia (outside centre) and Nemani Nadolo (wing) will make their first starts of the season.

The match will kick off at 5:05pm.

Lions team to face the Crusaders: Andries Coetzee, Deon van Rensburg, Lionel Mapoe, Stefan Watermeyer, Courtnall Skosan, Marnitz Boshoff, Faf de Klerk, Warren Whiteley, Willie Britz, Jaco Kriel, Martin Muller, Franco Mostert, Julian Redelinghuys, Willie Wepener, Schalk van der Merwe.

Replacements: Malcolm Marx, Corne Fourie, Ruan Dreyer, MB Lusaseni, Warwick Tecklenburg, Ross Cronje, Elton Jantjies, JW Jonker.

Crusaders team to face the Lions: Wyatt Crockett, Ben Funnell, Owen Franks, Dominic Bird, Samuel Whitelock, George Whitelock, Matt Todd, Luke Whitelock, Andy Ellis, Colin Slade, Johnny McNicholl, Ryan Crotty, Kieron Fonotia, Nemani Nadolo, Israel Dagg.

Replacements: Corey Flynn , Daniel Lienert-Brown, Nepo Laulala, Jimmy Tupou, Jordan Taufua, Willi Heinz, Tyler Bleyendaal,Tom Taylor.