JOHAN ACKERMANN's final selectorial act as Lions coach has been to name an unchanged team for the Super Rugby final in Johannesburg, Saturday August 5.
The South African side has matched the Crusaders by unveiling an identical side to that which claimed victory in the semi-finals last week.
Nine of the Lions starting XV were starters in last year’s 20-3 loss to the Hurricanes in the final. Two others were on the reserve bench in Wellington.
One player missing is influential captain and No.8 Warren Whiteley, who was injured while playing for the Springboks against France in June.
The skipper’s role has been subsequently taken up by flanker Jaco Kriel, who was a central figure in the semi-final fightback from 19 points down to beat the Hurricanes 44-29 at Ellis Park.
The decider will serve as a farewell for Ackermann.
He will take up a post at Gloucester, with Lions assistant Swys de Bruin to take the Lions head role next year.
Lions: Andries Coetzee, Ruan Combrinck, Lionel Mapoe, Harold Vorster, Courtnall Skosan, Elton Jantjies, Ross Cronje, Ruan Ackermann, Kwagga Smith, Jaco Kriel (capt), Franco Mostert, Andries Ferreira, Ruan Dreyer, Malcolm Marx, Jacques van Rooyen.
Reserves: Akker van der Merwe, Corne Fourie, Johannes Jonker, Lourens Erasmus, Cyle Brink, Faf de Klerk, Rohan Janse van Rensburg, Sylvian Mahuza.
Ed Note. We wish our boys well despite the issue of a referee that hogged headlines. Crusaders and your lot get used to it, finish & klaar!