Ntlabakanye to lead Lions cubs in Currie Cup start




Tighthead prop Asenathi Ntlabakanye will captain the Lions in their first Currie Cup encounter of the season against Western Province in Cape Town on Saturday.

The talented prop forward leads an exciting team which boasts 10 Junior Boks in the match 23. Reacting to being handed the captain’s armband, Ntlabakanye said Saturday will be a huge occasion for him.

“It’s a massive honour and privilege for me to be called upon to lead this group,” he said.

“To be captain at a franchise that I’ve played for since I was U16 is a huge thing for me. I’m also lucky enough to have strong leaders around me who I can lean on during the game.”

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“Asa”, who also boasts United Rugby Championship experience, believes Saturday’s clash will be one his side will be highly motivated for.

“The focus this week has been about what we can bring to the table as a squad,” explained Ntlabakanye. 

“Western Province away has never been an easy fixture. We know they have a strong set piece and can be dangerous in open play but we’ll be ready for that.” 

Head coach Mziwakhe Nkosi said he was excited for the group of young men.

“It’s an opportunity for them to express themselves against the best the Currie Cup has to offer. We are quite pleased with the side we’ve selected for Saturday. Most of them have tasted success in last year’s U20 domestic competition, so as a management group we back them to showcase their talent.”

Lions: Quan Horn, Boldwin Hansen, James Mollentze, Aidynn Cupido, Zeilinga Strydom, Vaughen Isaacs, Jurich Claasens, Emmanuel Tshituka, Jarod Cairns, Mark Snyman, Simon Dionisio, PJ Steenkamp, Asenathi Ntlabakanye (capt), Dameon Venter, Banele Mthenjane. Bench: Darnell Osuagwu, Heiko Pohlmann, Sibusiso Shongwe, Ruan Venter, Lunga Ncube, MJ Pelser, Nico Steyn, Tyler Bocks

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