Kriel denies reports of Wasps move

Fri, 30 Jun 2017 07:56

NEWS: Lions stand-in captain Jaco Kriel has denied reports that he is in talks to sign for Premiership club Wasps. Josh Isaacson reports.

Reports surfaced last week that suggested Wasps are interested in signing the powerful Springbok flank.

However, speaking ahead of the Lions Round 15 Super Rugby clash against the Sunwolves on Saturday, Kriel sounded surprised when asked about a potential move to Wasps and commented that his contract with the Lions will come to an end in 2018, however, he has no plans of going anywhere at the moment.

"I believe that's a bit premature from whoever wrote that. I saw it in the papers. My dad phoned me and wanted to know what's going on.

"I'm still signed with the Lions for Super Rugby next year, I am coming out of contract then and I've got nothing after Super Rugby 2018. So maybe they spoke about that, but that's what I know about the story," Kriel clarified.

Kriel takes over the captaincy from regular skipper Warren Whiteley, who has been sidelined for six to eight weeks after suffering a pelvis injury. Kriel added that Whiteley's leadership will be missed, however, he stressed that the Lions have created a leadership group who contribute to the team on and off the field.

"First of all it's a massive privilege to captain the side and I will always back Warren [Whiteley] when he's the leader. That's the kind of leadership group we are building, so no matter who is the captain we will back and help each other.

"Warren is a massive loss for the team and we will miss him, but as coach [Johan Ackermann] said, we must still play the game and get the result," he added.

The Lions have a new look loose-trio with flank Albertus 'Kwagga' Smith and No.8 Ruan Ackermann packing down alongside Kriel. The stand-in captain added that both players will contribute and add versatility to the Lions game, with Ackermann bringing physicality to the game while Kwagga brings footwork and offloading ability.

"I really believe Ruan Ackermann brings a different aspect to the game and with Kwagga also there we've got quite a dynamic loose trio," he stated.

By Josh Isaacson, in Johannesburg
@isaacson_j
@rugby365com

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Sat, 29 July 2017
Crusaders v Chiefs 07h35 Christchurch
Golden Lions v Griquas 10h00 Johannesburg
Lions v Hurricanes 12h30 Ellis Park
Sharks v Pumas 15h00 Durban
Sun, 30 July 2017
Free State Cheetahs v Western Province 12h30 Bloemfontein
RESULT SCORE
Sun, 23 July 2017
Pumas v Golden Lions 43 | 36
Sat, 22 July 2017
Griquas v Blue Bulls 45 | 51
Stormers v Chiefs 11 | 17
Lions v Sharks 23 | 21
Crusaders v Highlanders 17 | 0
Fri, 21 July 2017
Free State Cheetahs v Sharks 47 | 12
Brumbies v Hurricanes 16 | 35
Sat, 15 July 2017
Sharks v Lions 10 | 27
Bulls v Stormers 33 | 41
Force v Waratahs 40 | 11
Hurricanes v Crusaders 31 | 22
Chiefs v Brumbies 28 | 10
Sunwolves v Blues 43 | 21
Fri, 14 July 2017
Kings v Cheetahs 20 | 21
Rebels v Jaguares 29 | 32
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 15 6 0 9 34
Force 15 6 0 9 26
Reds 15 4 0 11 21
Waratahs 15 4 0 11 19
Rebels 15 1 1 13 9
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 15 14 0 1 63
Hurricanes 15 12 0 3 58
Chiefs 15 12 1 2 57
Highlanders 15 11 0 4 51
Blues 15 7 1 7 37
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 15 10 0 5 43
Cheetahs 15 4 0 11 21
Bulls 15 4 0 11 20
Sunwolves 15 2 0 13 12
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 15 14 0 1 65
Sharks 15 9 1 5 42
Jaguares 15 7 0 8 33
Kings 15 6 0 9 28