Cape Town – Bad weather en route to Dunedin on Thursday morning (SA time) has necessitated the aircraft carrying the Lions to turn around and the team is currently in Christchurch awaiting instructions from southern hemisphere governing body, SANZAAR.
The Lions are scheduled to face the Highlanders in Dunedin on Saturday morning at 08:35 (SA time).
In a press statement released on Thursday, the Lions said SANZAAR is doing everything it can to get them to their destination as soon as possible.
In the meantime, as they wait in Christchurch, Lions coach Johan Ackermann named his team for Saturday’s clash.
The Lions will field a new centre combination for the Super Rugby clash at Forsyth Barr Stadium.
Howard Mnisi and Rohan Janse van Rensburg will start in midfield, replacing Lionel Mapoe, who became a father on Wednesday, and Harold Vorster, who returned home after injuring his left knee again.
In the only other change to the backline, Jaco van der Walt replaces Andries Coetzee in a rotational move at fullback.
In the front row, Jacques van Rooyen gets his first start with Robbie Coetzee back in the No 2 jumper. Ruan Dreyer starts in a rotational move which sees Julian Redelinghuys move to the bench.
New recruit Jacques Nel, who joined the side earlier in the week, will warm the bench, while Dillon Smit also earns a spot among the reserves for the first time this season.
15 Ben Smith (captain), 14 Matt Faddes, 13 Malakai Fekitoa, 12 Rob Thompson,
11 Patrick Osborne, 10 Lima Sopoaga, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Liam Squire, 7 Dan
Pryor, 6 Luke Whitelock, 5 Joe Wheeler, 4 Alex Ainley, 3 Siosiua
Halanukonuka, 2 Liam Coltman, 1 Brendon Edmonds
Substitutes: 16 Ash Dixon, 17 Daniel Lienert-Brown, 18 Ross Geldenhuys, 19
Elliot Dixon, 20 Shane Christie, 21 Josh Renton, 22 Hayden Parker, 23
15 Jaco Van Der Walt, 14 Ruan Combrinck, 13 Rohan Janse van Rensburg, 12 Howard Mnisi, 11 Courtnall Skosan, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Faf de Klerk, 8 Warren Whiteley, 7 Warwick Tecklenberg, 6 Jaco Kriel, 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Andries Ferreira, 3 Ruan Dreyer, 2 Robbie Coetzee, 1 Jacques van Rooyen
Substitutes: 16 Armand Van Der Merwe, 17 Corne Fourie, 18 Julian Redelinghuys, 19 Robert Kruger, 20 Ruan Ackermann, 21 Dillon Smit, 22 Jacques Nel, 23 Andries Coetzee