The Klerksdorp-born prop, who has represented the Cell C Sharks, Vodacom Bulls and Irish giants Ulster, joined the Johannesburg outfit during lockdown in July.

He gave up a potential opportunity to play Test rugby for Ireland after racking up over 80 appearances for Ulster from 2014 to 2019, to return to South Africa when he joined the Pretoria side.

Herbst takes over from another veteran, Jannie du Plessis, in the front row. The other change to coach Ivan van Rooyen’s starting team for the clash that will be broadcast live on SuperSport at 14h00, was at flank where Vincent Tshituka comes in for Wilhelm van der Sluys, who has been named among the replacements.

There were a few changes on the bench, with former Junior Springbok Carlü Sadie filling the void left by Herbst’s promotion to the starting team, while another former SA U20 player, Manuel Rass (centre) takes over from Burger Odendaal, while Marnus Schoeman (flanker) was named in favour of an extra back in Jamba Ulengo (winger).

Xerox Lions: 15 Tiaan Swanepoel, 14 Stean Pienaar, 13 Wandisile Simelane, 12 Dan Kriel, 11 Courtnall Skosan, 10 Elton Jantjies (captain), 9 André Warner, 8 Len Massyn, 7 Vincent Tshituka, 6 Jaco Kriel, 5 Marvin Orie, 4 Willem Alberts, 3 Wiehahn Herbst, 2 Jaco Visagie, 1 Dylan Smith. Replacements: 16 Jan-Henning Campher, 17 Ruan Dreyer, 18 Carlü Sadie, 19 Reinhard Nothnagel, 20 Wilhelm van der Sluys, 21 Morné van den Berg, 22 Manuel Rass, 23 Marnus Schoeman. 

Match Information – Phakisa Pumas v Xerox Lions
Date: Saturday, 2 January 2021
Time: 14h00
Venue: Mbombela Stadium, Nelspruit
Referee: AJ Jacobs
Assistant Referees: Paul Mente and Morne Ferreira
TMO: Johan Greeff
TV: SuperSport Grandstand and Rugby