Jansen van Vuren returns to the match 23 in the starting lineup after being sidelined due to injury during the team’s tour to the UK last year. Straeuli will start on the side of the scrum, coming in for the injured Vincent Tshituka.

Emirates Lions head coach Ivan van Rooyen said: "It’s great to be back for Vodacom URC action especially on our home turf at Emirates Airline Park. It’ll be our first URC fixture at home since the campaign started so we’re pretty excited about that."

Commenting on his selected match 23, Van Rooyen said he believes his troops are up for the Cell C Sharks challenge with a few players hoping to make an impact this weekend.

"We are pleased to have Pieter back. He was great for us on tour before injury halted his momentum. He’s trained really well over the past few weeks, and he is eager to get stuck again," said Van Rooyen. 

"It’s unfortunate to lose Vincent due to an injury setback, but the opportunity now presents itself for Ruhan to come in and do the job for us in concert with Jaco Kriel and Francke Horn."

Emirates Lions: 15 EW Viljoen, 14 Edwill van der Merwe, 13 Wandisile Simelane, 12 Burger Odendaal (captain), 11 Rabz Maxwane, 10 Fred Zeilinga, 9 Andre Warner, 8 Francke Horn, 7 Ruhan Straeuli, 6 Jaco Kriel, 5 Pieter Jansen van Vuren, 4 Ruben Schoeman, 3 Carlu Sadie, 2 Jaco Visagie, 1 Sti Sithole. Replacements: 16 PJ Botha, 17 Morgan Naude, 18 Ruan Dreyer, 19 Willem Alberts, 20 Emmanuel Tshituka, 21 Morne van den Berg, 22 Matt More, 23 Tiaan Swanepoel.