Coetzee wants Kriel to 'roar' with Lions

Wed, 24 May 2017 10:54

REACTION: Springbok coach Allister Coetzee has sent flank Jaco Kriel back to the Lions to get some game time.

Coetzee confirmed that he had asked Lions and South Africa 'A' team coach Johan Ackermann to give Kriel some game time ahead of the June Test series against France.

The only opportunity for game time will be when the Lions host the South Kings in a rare Sunday match at Ellis Park this week.

Kriel suffered a knee injury when he was sandwiched and folded backwards in a tackle in the game against the Jaguares last month.

He was subsequently ruled out of the team's unbeaten tour to Australia and last week's impressive win over the Bulls.

However, he was named in the Bok squad for three-Test series against France next month.

Coetzee, speaking at a media briefing in Johannesburg, said they have quite a firm 'return to play' protocol and Kriel will follow that protocol.

"Ruan Combrinck [another of the Lions' injured stars] played in the [domestic] Challenge Cup, he played [for the Lions against the Bulls] last week and he is in the SA 'A' [team] mix," Coetzee said of the wing - which will feature when the country's second-string selection face the French Barbarians in two matches next month.

"Jaco [Kriel] has come through well at training, in a controlled environment," the Bok coach added.

"I am sure he will play for the Lions. They will put him under more 'stress' this week.

"I don't want to select the Lions' team for them, but hopefully he is in the mix [against the Kings] this weekend."

Coetzee confirmed that he spoke to Lions coach Johan Ackermann about Kiel.

"There is a good chance he will be in the squad.

"Hopefully he gets a 20-minute or so run.

"There is a calibre of player that doesn't need five games to get match fit.

"We all know Jaco's ability and the calibre of player that he is, so that [lack of game time] is not an issue."