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Lions look to end season on a high

The Lions will take on the Melbourne Rebels on Friday.

Veteran Lions lock Franco van der Merwe has been declared fit to play after recovering from an ankle injury. Picture: Facebook.com

JOHANNESBURG - Lions captain Warren Whiteley emphasised the importance of the Lions ending their season on a high as they prepare to take on the Rebels in their penultimate Super Rugby match of the season at Ellis Park on Friday.

The Johannesburg franchise has made three changes to their side ahead of the clash, with veteran lock Franco van der Merwe back from injury and fit to start.

The other changes see Deon van Rensburg replace Cortnall Skosan on the right wing, with Anthony Volmink replacing Chysander Botha on the left wing.

Whiteley says it is important to secure a winning end to their campaign.

"The last two games are very important to us. It's something that determines the success of our season, so we're very excited. There's been some great energy amongst the guys over the last two weeks of training, and we're really looking forward to the match on Friday."

Whiteley believes having a quality player like van der Merwe back in the side will bring a lot to the team.

"Franco is an amazing player, and also an amazing leader. He brings something different to the side. His analysis of line outs is spectacular, and so is his competing at the line outs. He just brings a different dimension to us and we're very excited to have him back."

Whiteley says his team is happy with their overall performance during this year's Super Rugby campaign.

"To date we've got five wins, and we're happy with that. There are a couple games that were really close and that we would like to have won, but we've got two more left and I think they really determine the season for us. If we can get these two wins and make it seven, I think it will have been a really successful season for us."