Lions looking to end tour on a high note against Connacht

Lions looking to end tour on a high note against Connacht

The Lions will look to end their overseas tour on a high note when they take on Irish club Connacht in the United Rugby Championship on Saturday evening.

The team from Johannesburg are currently 12th in the log standings, a mere one point behind their hosts who are eleventh.

"Looking back at last week's game, it's important for us ahead of Connacht to put together two good halves and start playing positive rugby again," said former Springbok great and current Lions defence coach Jaque Fourie.

Fourie is familiar with Saturday's venue having played at the Sportsground in Galway for the Springboks in 2007.

"Playing in Galway especially in these conditions will be tough - it's going to take 23-man effort to achieve a positive result for us. We've had a look at the Connacht side, and we know they are a tough side at home. The goal is to come out firing and as I said, put together two good halves of rugby and hopefully beat them on Saturday night."

Fourie likens playing in these types of conditions to test match rugby where a different approach is required, and Saturday against Connacht will most likely be the case.

"It's almost like playing test rugby, explains the former Bok centre. You have to take your chances; you need to grab your points and build scoreboard pressure. Of course, playing in the right areas of the field becomes important. At times, you'll face winds of around 30km/h which makes kicking into the wind difficult meaning teams need to keep the ball for longer phases," he added.

Notable changes to the starting line-up see flanker Sibusiso Sangweni slot into the number six jersey and hooker PJ Botha take his place in the front row, with Stean Pienaar getting his opportunity on the right wing and Quan Horn moving to fullback.

Sangweni and Botha replace Springbok Jaco Kriel and Michael van Vuuren, respectively, in the forward pack.

Kick-off is at 21:35 SA time.

Lions - 15 Quan Horn, 14 Stean Pienaar, 13 Henco van Wyk, 12 Marius Louw (captain), 11 Edwill van der Merwe, 10 Jordan Hendrikse, 9 André Warner, 8 Emmanuel Tshituka, 7 Emile van Heerden, 6 Sibusiso Sangweni, 5 Darrien Landsberg, 4 Willem Alberts, 3 Asenathi Ntlabakanye, 2 PJ Botha , 1 JP Smith.

Replacements: 16 Michael Van Vuuren, 17 Morgan Naude, 18 Ruan Smith, 19 Pieter Jansen van Vuren, 20 Jaco Kriel, 21 Morné van den Berg, 22 Manual Rass, 23 Andries Coetzee.