Lions coach Swys de Bruin during the Emirates Lions team announcement in Johannesburg. Picture: WESSLES OOSTHUIZEN/GALLO IMAGES
Lions coach Swys de Bruin during the Emirates Lions team announcement in Johannesburg. Picture: WESSLES OOSTHUIZEN/GALLO IMAGES

Coach Swys de Bruin has turned to some of the Lions’ cubs to restore a spring to his team’s step in this season’s Super Rugby.

The Lions have lost consecutive matches to the Stormers and the Bulls and are at the foot of the SA conference.

They are now in territory they have not been in since the franchise’s days of struggle predating their temporary exit from the tournament.

As expected De Bruin has rung the changes for the Saturday’s clash against the Jaguares at Ellis Park.

Spring-heeled centre Wandisile Simelane will partner Franco Naude in midfield‚ Sylvian Mahuza slots in at wing‚ Ross Cronjé is in at scrumhalf‚ Kwagga Smith moves to No8 making way for Vincent Tshituka at No7‚ while Ruan Vermaak comes in at lock at the expense of Stephan Lewies.

The new recruits on the bench are Nathan McBeth‚ James Venter and Tyrone Green. The latter‚ however‚ has been bracketed with Gianni Lombard.

The changes are bold considering the experience the Jaguares will bring to Ellis Park. They are made up of national team players already hard baked in the cauldron of international rugby.

De Bruin‚ however‚ is seeking a reaction after a disappointing loss to the Bulls. They were comprehensively outplayed by their neighbours‚ especially upfront.

The Lions‚ current national Under-21 champions‚ have reason to be optimistic about their tyros.

“They are unreal some of these guys coming through‚” gushed De Bruin. “Some of them excite me. Some of these guys will become household names. They are humble.”

He is pleading patience as the youngsters find their feet.

“I want to ask the fans to back them and support them. I’m very excited about our youth.”