The two changes to the Highvelders’ back three sees Tyrone Green come in for Andries Coetzee and Ruan Combrinck for Sylvian Mahuza, while there is a fresh lock combination in Stephan Lewies and fit-again Marvin Orie, who slot in for Ryno Herbst and Ruan Vermaak respectively.
Rebels coach Dave Wessels has made five changes to the team that defeated the Brumbies last Friday in Melbourne. They are unbeaten after three outings and is top of the Australian Conference.
This will be the fifth meeting between the teams, with the Johannesburg team prevailing in each of their four prior clashes. The Highvelders have won their last four matches at home against overseas teams, scoring 40 points or more on each occasion.
The Rebels, on the other hand, head into the fixture fresh off victories in their last three games, and a fourth consecutive win would mark a record for the Melbourne franchise.
Elton Jantjies (Emirates Lions), Quade Cooper (Rebels) and Will Genia (Rebels) have each made four try assists in Vodacom Super Rugby 2019, more than any other players in the competition.
What they said:
Emirates Lions coach Swys de Bruin said: “The youngsters performed very well for us last week against the Jaguares. This week we face a difficult Rebels team and we will have to be accurate and take our chances if we want to kick on with our momentum.”
Emirates Lions: 15 Tyrone Green, 14 Ruan Combrinck, 13 Wandisile Simelane, 12 Franco Naude, 11 Courtnall Skosan, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Ross Cronje, 8 Kwagga Smith, 7 Vincent Tshituka, 6 Marnus Schoeman, 5 Stephan Lewies, 4 Marvin Orie, 3 Carlu Sadie, 2 Malcolm Marx (captain), 1 Dylan Smith. Replacements: 16 Jan-Henning Campher, 17 Sti Sithole, 18 Frans van Wyk, 19 Rhyno Herbst, 20 Ruan Vermaak, 21 Gianni Lombard, 22 Lionel Mapoe, 23 Andries Coetzee.
Rebels: 15 Dane Haylett-Petty, 14 Jack Maddocks, 13 Tom English, 12 Billy Meakes, 11 Reece Hodge, 10 Quade Cooper, 9 Will Genia, 8 Isi Naisarani, 7 Brad Wilkin, 6 Luke Jones, 5 Adam Coleman, 4 Ross Haylett-Petty, 3 Sam Talakai, 2 Anaru Rangi, 1 Tetera Faulkner. Replacements: 16 Robbie Abel, 17 Matt Gibbon, 18 Jermaine Ainsley, 19 Matt Philip, 20 Angus Cottrell, 21 Michael Ruru, 22 Sione Tuipulotu, 23 Marika Koroibete
Head to head:
Emirates Lions won: 4
Emirates Lions points: 138
Average score: 35-19
Date: Saturday, 16 March
SA time: 15h05
Venue: Emirates Airlines Park, Johannesburg
Referee: Egon Seconds
Assistant referees: Jaco Peyper, Cwengile Jadezweni
Television Match Official: Willie Vos
Other Round 5 matches this weekend:
Friday, 15 March
08h35: Chiefs v Hurricanes, FMG Stadium, Waikato
10h45: Brumbies v Waratahs, GIO Stadium, Canberra
Saturday, 16 March
06h15: Sunwolves v Reds, Prince Chichibu Memorial Stadium, Tokyo
08h35: Highlanders v Crusaders, Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin