Burger Odendaal will lead the side from Johannesburg, with Springbok flank Jaco Kriel back in the mix after missing most of the season due to injury.

Two players on loan from the New Nation Pumas, have also been included in the match-23. Experienced lock Pieter Jansen van Vuren will start in the second row, and Eddie Fouche will provide flyhalf cover from the bench.

Commenting on his selections for the match at Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi, where the action will kick off at 18h35 (SA time), Emirates Lions head coach Ivan 'Cash' van Rooyen said: "It's an exciting new chapter for the Emirates Lions and we are really looking forward to our first match tomorrow against Zebre.

"The URC will test our character as a group but it's a challenge we are up for.

"We believe the match-23 we've decided upon will be competitive on the day and hopefully establish some momentum going into the next few weeks of the tournament."

Emirates Lions: 15 EW Viljoen, 14 Jamba Ulengo, 13 Wandisile Simelane, 12 Burger Odendaal (captain), 11 Rabz Maxwane, 10 Jordan Hendrikse, 9 Andre Warner, 8 Francke Horn, 7 Vincent Tshituka, 6 Jaco Kriel, 5 Pieter Jansen Van Vuren, 4 Ruben Schoeman, 3 Carlu Sadie, 2 Jaco Visagie, 1 Ruan Dreyer. Replacements: 16 PJ Botha, 17 Sti Sithole, 18 Asenathi Ntlabakanye, 19 Reinhard Nothnagel, 20 Sibusiso Sangweni, 21 Morne van den Berg, 22 Eddie Fouche, 23 Divan Rossouw.