Whiteley boost for Lions

Mon, 18 Jul 2016 13:38

INJURY UPDATE: The Lions received a timely boost with the news that regular captain Warren Whiteley could be fit for the Super Rugby play-offs.

The Lions, who finished second on the tournament standings after their second-string selection lost to the Jaguares in Buenos Aires at the weekend, host the Crusaders in one of the quarterfinals, at Ellis Park on Saturday.

Whitley missed the last few weeks after suffering a shoulder injury while playing for the Springboks in the June Test series against Ireland.

It was initially suggested who could be sidelined for the rest of the season, but he has made a quicker-than-expected recovery and will undergo a fitness test on Thursday - before the final call will be made on his availability.

The decision not to send the A team to Argentina may yet to prove a masterstroke by coach Johan Ackermann, despite their 22-34 loss to the Jaguares at the weekend.

The team only arrived back in South Africa on Monday, but a number of players that were in Argentina have also picked up a stomach bug - which was what has happened to most teams travelling via Sao Palo in Brazil.

The medical staff are hopeful that most of them will be ready to take part in training from Tuesday.

The Lions named a squad of 25 players for training this week.

The matchday 23 - for Saturday's encounter with the seven-time champion Crusaders - will be named on Thursday.

Lions squad: Dylan Smith, Corné Fourie, Julian Redelinghuys, Jacques van Rooyen, Armand van der Merwe, Malcolm Marx, Franco Mostert, Andries Ferreira, Lourens Erasmus, Warren Whiteley, Ruan Ackermann, Warwick Tecklenburg, Jaco Kriel, Cyle Brink, Francois de Klerk, Ross Cronjé, Elton Jantjies, Jaco van der Walt, Rohan Janse van Rensburg, Courtnall Skosan, Ruan Combrinck, Andries Coetzee, Sylvian Mahuza, Howard Mnisi, Lionel Mapoe.

Date: Saturday, July 22
Venue: Ellis Park, Johannesburg
Kick-off: 16.30 (14.30 GMT; 02.30, Sunday, July 24 NZ time)
Referee: TBC

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