Lions prop out for the season
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: The Lions have suffered another massive front row blow.
It was confirmed that star prop Dylan Smith will undergo shoulder surgery and will be sidelined for four months - ruling him out for the remainder of the Super Rugby season.
Smith, who missed the latter stages of the Currie Cup season with a shoulder injury, picked up his latest injury in the loss to the Jaguares in Buenos Aires in Round Three.
Smith, who formed such a formidable front row partnership with Springboks Julian Redelinghuys and Malcolm Marx last year, missed the first game of the new season and returned to the bench against the Waratahs in Week Two.
He started in the No.1 jersey in Buenos Aires and injured the same shoulder.
Other injury setbacks will see utility back Jaco van der Walt sidelined for eight weeks after undergoing foot surgery this week.
Springbok utility back Lionel Mapoe suffered a spiral/hairline fracture to his hand and will see a specialist on Friday.
Prop Johannes Jonker was diagnosed with concussion, suffered in the impressive win over the Reds last week, and is being evaluated daily.
* Meanwhile Warren Whiteley will captain the Lions for the 50th time in Super Rugby when he leads his side on the field against the Southern Kings in Port Elizabeth on Saturday.
Whiteley, who returns to his former hunting ground having represented the Kings five times (2009), will be playing his 71st game for the Lions.
He is the most experienced Lions captain in the last 10 years with Cobus Grobbelaar on 28 and Josh Strauss 17.
Lions: 15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Madosh Tambwe, 13 HaroldVorster, 12 Rohan Janse van Rensburg, 11 Courtnall Skosan, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Francois de Klerk, 8 Warren Whiteley (captain), 7 Ruan Ackermann, 6 Jaco Kriel, 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Andries Ferreira, 3 Ruan Dreyer, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Jacques van Rooyen.
Replacements: 16 Armand van der Merwe, 17 Sithembiso Sithole, 18 Hencus van Wyk, 19 Lourens Erasmus, 20 Albertus Smith, 21 Dillon Smit, 22 Jacques Nel, 23 Sylvian Mahuza.
Date: Saturday, March 25
Venue: Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port Elizabeth
Kick-off: 15.05 (13.05 GMT)
Referee: Quinton Immelman (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Rasta Rasivhenge (South Africa), Egon Seconds (South Africa)
TMO: Shaun Veldsman (South Africa)