Whiteley in double blow for Lions

Thu, 28 Jul 2016 10:17

TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Jaco Kriel will lead the Lions in their first ever Super Rugby semifinal at home.

The Lions will be without the services of regular captain Warren Whiteley (calf) and replacement scrumhalf Ross Cronje (ankle) when they host the defending champion Highlanders at Ellis Park on Saturday.

Whiteley, who played in his first game back after recovering from a shoulder injury sustained in the Test series against Ireland in June, damaged his calf muscle in the 42-25 quarterfinal win over seven-time champion Crusaders last week.

Ruan Ackermann will wear the No.8 jersey in Whiteley's absence, with Kriel taking over the captaincy.

Even though he is unable to play, Whiteley will 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.

Steph de Witt has been named on the replacement bench as loose forward cover.

Dillon Smit has also come onto the bench for Cronjé, who also failed a late fitness test after picking up an ankle injury against the Crusaders.

Lions: 15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Ruan Combrinck, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 Rohan Janse van Rensburg, 11 Courtnall Skosan, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Francois de Klerk, 8 Ruan Ackermann, 7 Warwick Tecklenburg, 6 Jaco Kriel (captain), 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Andries Ferreira, 3 Julian Redelinghuys, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Dylan Smith.
Replacements:  16 Armand van der Merwe, 17 Corné Fourie, 18 Jacques van Rooyen, 19 Lourens Erasmus, 20 Steph de Witt, 21 Dillon Smit, 22 Howard Mnisi, 23 Jaco van der Walt.

Date: Saturday, July 30
Venue: Ellis Park, Johannesburg
Kick-off: 15.00 (13.00 GMT; 01.00 Sunday July 31 NZ Time)
Referee: Jaco Peyper (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Ben O´Keeffe (New Zealand), AJ Jacobs (South Africa)
TMO: Shaun Veldsman (South Africa)

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