Forced changes for Johan Ackermann

While Cyle Brink starts at flank, Faf de Klerk comes in at scrumhalf and Howard Mnisi starts at centre.

Lions coach Johan Ackermann. Picture: Facebook.com.

JOHANNESBURG - Johan Ackerman has made six changes to his team ahead of their trip to Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on Saturday to play the Kings.

A new front row sees Corne Fourie, Armand van der Merwe and Ruan Dreyer start. While Cyle Brink starts at flank, Faf de Klerk comes in at scrumhalf and Howard Mnisi starts at centre.

Ackermann says he's excited by Brink.

"He's a young guy that's worked hard and took the opportunity when it was given to him. We think he can be a 6, 7 & 8, he's got that ability. He's not a specific ground player but can play that role."

Lions fans will have to wait a while for a host of injured players to return to action.

Ackermann says Andries Coetzee won't be back until after June, while Malcom Marx has made some good progress.

"Malcolm has improved the most between him and Julian. We were thinking… it's three weeks after the bye but there is a possibility of maybe next week for Malcolm. Julian will definitely only be ready after the bye at the soonest."