Lions make six changes for Force clash

A combination of injury and fatigue has forced Lions coach Johan Ackermann into several changes.

The Lions take on the Western Force in Perth on Saturday. Picture: Facebook.com

CAPE TOWN - Lions coach Johan Ackermann has made wholesale changes to his side for Saturday's clash against the Western Force in Perth.

There are six changes in the forward pack, with the entire front-row changed from the one that started last week's loss to the Waratahs.

Corne Fourie, Armand van der Merwe and Ruan Dreyer all move into the starting front row, with Rudi Mathee and Franco Mostert selected at lock.

Warwick Tecklenburg is also promoted from the bench and will start at seven.

In the backline, Ross Cronje will start at scrumhalf.

Anthony Volmink starts at left wing, while Alwyn Hollenbach and Deon van Rensburg is the centre pairing, with Coenie van Wyk starting at fullback.

"The starting front row of Robbie (Coetzee), Schalk (van der Merwe) and Julian (Redelinghuys) had a lot of game time in the last couple of weeks. It's really taken a toll on their bodies, and I feel that we're going to get a lot of energy and excitement from the guys that haven't all had game time," said Ackermann.

Ackerman says his selections this week were also injury enforced.

"With five injuries after the Waratahs, I was forced into a change at lock and centre, and also at loose forward with Derrick Minnie going home. A lot of those changes were enforced through injury."

In other news concerning the Lions, Rudolf Straeuli has been appointed as the new Chief Executive of the Golden Lions Rugby Union.

Straeuli, who is the current General Manager of the Lions, replaces Manie Booysen from 1 June, who was CEO since 2012.

Lions Rugby President Kevin de Klerk says Straeuli has the pedigree to turn the troubled union around.

"His great strength is player recruitment, looking after our dynamics specifically around the junior players in the Lions territory. We're very excited to have Rudolf on board, he's got a good feel for the business, and he's also got a great amount of experience."