They will still be without Springbok flank Jaco Kriel, but the Lions have the luxury of assembling the squad that went undefeated in Australia for Saturday’s Super Rugby clash against the Bulls at Ellis Park.
Kriel is doing agility training as part of the final stages of his recovery from the MCL injury he sustained against the Jaguares‚ but is highly unlikely to feature this weekend.
Winger Madosh Tambwe‚ who missed the tour of Australia due to SA Under-20 commitments‚ is available again after he sustained a side strain while playing for the Golden Lions in their SuperSport Rugby Challenge match against the Welwitschias two weekends ago.
Whether he will unseat the ever-improving Sylvian Mahuza on the right wing remains to be seen. Mahuza’s try against the Rebels will be a contender for try of the season.
Tambwe‚ however‚ showed glimpses of what he was capable of earlier in the campaign‚ but he is yet to hit his straps.
The Lions will go into the match with their confidence sky-high.
They returned from Australia unbeaten and their only blemish abroad in this campaign came against the Jaguares in Buenos Aires in Argentina.
With several New Zealand derbies still to be played‚ the Lions now have a realistic chance of challenging for top spot on the Super Rugby points table.
That status holds inherent benefits for the knockout stages of the competition. They will have to remain unbeaten for the rest of the league stages if they want to achieve that.
First the Lions have to conquer a Bulls side still smarting from their recent defeats against the Crusaders and Highlanders.
The Bulls used to have an impeccable record against the Lions but have not won at Ellis Park since 2012.
The Lions have won three of their last four matches against the Bulls‚ including the 56-20 thrashing they handed the hosts at Loftus in 2016.