The Southern Kings provide unfamiliar opposition on Tuesday afternoon as the Lions play their final warm-up fixture ahead of the eagerly-awaited Test series against South Africa which begins in Durban this Saturday.
The new Eastern Cape franchise will be playing their first-ever competitive fixture as they launch their bid to become the latest addition to the Super Rugby family.
The southern hemisphere's premier club competition is set to expand to 15 next season and the Kings are desperate to join the Bulls, Cheetahs, Lions, Sharks and Stormers at the party come 2010.
They may be an unknown quantity in franchise terms but the matchday 22 contains plenty of players well known in Britain and Ireland.
Coached by former Ulster and Northampton boss Alan Solomons, The Kings contain no less than six players with extensive experience of the British and Irish game.
Three members of the starting XV currently play their rugby for English clubs, with Harlequins centre De Wet Barry and Bristol wing Matt Turner joined by new Leeds Carnegie lock Marco Wentzel.
Barry is a former Springbok international with 39 caps and three tries to his name. The 30-year-old spent 10 years with Western Province and the Stormers and was part of his country's 2003 World Cup squad before moving to London in 2007.
Wentzel is another current exile to have worn senior South African colours, winning two internationals caps against Scotland and France back in 2002. He gained Super Rugby experience with both the Blue Bulls and Cats and later moved to Italy with Benetton Treviso. Now 30, Wentzel has agreed to join Guinness Premiership newcomers Leeds next season having spent two successful years with reigning English champions Leicester Tigers.
Former University of Cape Town wing Turner joined Bristol in September 2008, making six first-team appearances last season and scoring twice on his debut against Northampton.
The 21-year-old previously represented South Africa at the U20s World Cup and has since gone on to earn a call up to the England Sevens squad. He was a late addition to the Southern Kings line up following injury to Reyno Benjamin but the relatively unknown youngster is highly-rated both in South Africa and the West Country.
Three more players have previously played their rugby in the UK, with Wylie Human, Frikkie Welsh and Jaco van der Westhuyzen having spent time with English clubs.
Human played for both Bath and Northampton between 2003 and 2005 before returning to South Africa with the Cats and now the Stormers, while Welsh was also at Bath between 2004 and 2006. Welsh resigned for the Bulls to pursue his dream of representing the Springboks but has since moved to France with Montpellier leaving that ambition unfulfilled.
Van der Westhuyzen is arguably the most high profile player within the Kings set up, having won a total of 32 caps for the Boks. Regarded by many as one of the most talented South Africa playmakers in recent years, van der Westhuyzen's inconsistent form on the big stage has prevented him from making the Springbok No10 and 15 shirt his own.
The 31-year-old has represented his country at Schools, U21, U23, A and senior level and has also appeared for the South African Barbarians. He spent a season with Leicester following the 2003 World Cup in Australia and soon became a crowd favourite at Welford Road. The English giants were keen to keep van der Westhuyzen in the East Midlands but he instead honoured a contract with Japanese outfit the NEC Green Rockets.
As for the coach, Solomons enjoyed three impressive seasons with Ulster between 2001 and 2004, winning the Celtic Cup, finishing as runners up in the Celtic League and improving their European ranking from 27th to 12th.
Although he then lasted less than a season at Franklin's Gardens with Northampton after a poor start to the league campaign, Solomons has made a significant impact in the British and Irish game at various levels. He prepared Oxford University for the annual Varsity match on four occasions and also led the Barbarians to wins over England, Scotland and Wales in 2003.
The qualified lawyer previously coached the University of Cape Town for 20 years before moving on to coach Western Province and then the Stormers.
Solomons was assistant coach to Nick Mallett during South Africa's 17-Test unbeaten run and their third place finish in the 1999 World Cup and has most recently been working as a consultant for the International Rugby Board's High Performance initiative.
While Solomons will take care off affairs prior to kick-off at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, it is team captain Derick Kuun who will take over once the first whistle blows for kick off in Port Elizabeth. The former South African U21 skipper has also captained the Blue Bulls at Currie Cup level and featured in every Super 14 fixture for the Bulls in 2008.
A former flanker, the 25-year-old has also has an eye for the tryline, scoring 120 points in 62 provincial appearances and a further 20 points in 27 Super 14 matches.
Fellow Bulls players Francois Hougaard and Jaco Engels both start for the Southern Kings, as do Blue Bulls regulars and Bulls wider squad members Tiger Mangweni and Ruan Vermeulen.
Former Springbok full back Bevin Fortuin is named among a replacements bench that also includes South African Sevens skipper Mzwandile Stick, while Stick's international team-mate in the shortened version of the game, Mpho Mbiyozo is named in the back row.
Lions head coach Ian McGeechan has made it clear to the public, the press and his players that Test selection remains open until after Tuesday afternoon's fixture. McGeechan will mean exactly what he says and that should give the sixth match of the 10-game tour an added edge.
The 22 players named in the Lions' matchday squad know that this is their final chance to impress before Saturday's showdown with the Boks; their last chance to further their Test claims and their final opportunity to persuade McGeechan that they are the worthy of a place among his elite.
A total of seven players who started Saturday's narrow win over Western Province are asked to do so once more against the Kings, with skipper Donncha O'Callaghan among them. The Munster lock follows Paul O'Connell, Brian O'Driscoll and Phil Vickery in leading the Lions on tour as he looks to give McGeechan a final reminder of the Test credentials that saw him face the All Blacks on two occasions as a Lion in 2005.
Nathan Hines, Joe Worsley, Riki Flutey and Keith Earls all start in different shirt numbers than those they wore in Cape Town, with Hines moving to the blindside flank, Worsley to the openside, Flutey to outside centre and Earls to full back.
Andy Powell is employed again at No8, while Andrew Sheridan starts in the front row for the second game running.
James Hook gets the chance to build on his late heroics against Western Province as he teams up with Scotland captain Mike Blair at halfback, although the Edinburgh No9 still needs to come through a fitness test on a foot injury on Tuesday morning.
Gordon D'Arcy makes his first start of the tour after being called up as a replacement to provide midfield cover, with Shane Williams in line for involvement in his sixth game on tour. The Welsh wing has been involved in every matchday squad so far, with last Saturday's match the only occasion in which he has not seen game time.
A stomach bug threatened to force Williams to withdraw from the squad yesterday afternoon but he was passed fit on Tuesday morning. Williams has been switched to the bench, however, with Ugo Monye promoted to the starting line up.