Injury cloud hangs over Whiteley
NEWS: The Lions could lose captain Warren Whiteley again ahead of their semifinal showdown against the Highlanders at Ellis Park on Saturday.
According to a report in the Afrikaans daily Die Beeld, Whiteley is nursing a calf injury after he returned to the playing field in his team's 42-25 quartefinal win over the Crusaders last weekend in Johannesburg. It was Whiteley's first appearance on the rugby field since he injured his right AC joint (shoulder) in the third Test against Ireland in Port Elizabeth a month ago.
Although the original injury update from the Lions did not include Whiteley, there appears to be substance to the report given that two additional loose forwards (Steph de Witt and Cyle Brink) were named in Johan Ackermann's squad as cover ahead of the semifinal.
Ruan Ackermann will likely wear the No.8 jersey if Whiteley is not fit, with Jaco Kriel taking over the captaincy.
Even if he is unable to play, Whiteley will still remain an integral part of the team leading up to the match against the Highlanders, just as he has done during his recent spell on the sidelines.
Ackermann has also included Dillon Smit in the 27-man squad as cover for Ross Cronjé, who will also undergo a late fitness test after picking up an ankle injury against the Crusaders.
Forwards: Dylan Smith, Corne Fourie, Julian Redelinghuys, Jacques van Rooyen, Armand van der Merwe, Malcolm Marx, Lourens Erasmus, Franco Mostert, Andries Ferreira, Ruan Ackermann, Warwick Tecklenberg, Warren Whiteley, Jaco Kriel, Cyle Brink, Steph de Witt.
Backs: Francois de Klerk, Ross Cronje, Dillon Smit, Elton Jantjies, Jaco van der Walt, Courtnall Skosan, Ruan Combrinck, Sylvian Mahuza, Howard Mnisi, Rohan Janse van Rensburg, Lionel Mapoe, Andries Coetzee.