JC back, but not as captain
JC back, but not as captainSHARE
Warren Whiteley will captain the Lions when they face Samoa 's Test team at Ellis Park on Saturday.
Lions coach Johan Ackermann confirmed to this website that Whiteley, and not veteran prop JC Janse van Rensburg, will be the skipper against the Pacific Islanders.
Janse van Rensburg and Derrick Minnie are both available to take on the powerful tourists, currently ranked seventh in the world among the Test nations.
"It is great to have JC [Janse van Rensburg] and Derrick [Minnie] back [from the Sharks]," Ackermann told this website in an interview, adding: "They will make a huge difference on Saturday."
However, the French-bound Van Rensburg will play a supporting role this week, with Whitely set to continue in the role that saw him lead the Lions to a record fifth Vodacom Cup title earlier this month.
"Warren [Whiteley] will retain the captaincy – he [Warren] did well [as captain] on the absence of JC," Ackermann said.
"Warren can also start growing in that role ahead of the Currie Cup [season], as JC will have left for [Bayonne in] France by the time the Currie Cup season starts," the Lions coach said.
The Lions do have a few injury concerns ahead of the encounter with Samoa.
"[Utility back] Andries Coetzee [who suffered a shoulder injury when playing for the Sharks last month] and [wing] Deon Helberg, who fractured a rib in the Vodacom Cup Final, are the only major casualties," Ackermann said.
"Jaco Taute [knee injury while playing for the Stormers] would not have been available to us anyway.
"Then Hendrik Roodt is out as a result of his suspension [after a dangerous tackle in the Vodacom Cup Final]."
There are a few guys who won't take contact in the early parts of the week, but the bulk of the squad that won the Vodacom Cup will feature against Samoa.
Forwards: Warren Whiteley (captain), Warwick Tecklenburg, Jaco Kriel, Hugo Kloppers, Ruan Dreyer, Robbie Coetzee, Jacques van Rooyen, Francois du Toit, Van Zyl Botha, JJ Breet, Willie Britz, JC Janse van Rensburg, Derrick Minnie.
Backs: Chrysander Botha, Deon van Rensburg, Alwyn Hollenbach, Anthony Volmink, Marnitz Boshoff, Michael Bondesio, Ross Cronjé, Lionel Cronjé, Dylan Des Fountain.
Forwards: Census Johnston (Toulouse), Logovi'i Mulipola (Leicester Tigers), Sakaria Taulafo (London Wasp), James Johnston (Harlequins), Ti'i Paulo (Clermont), Wayne Ole Avei (Bordeaux Beagles), Manu Leiataua (North Harbour), Kane Thompson (Canon Eagles), Iosefa Tekori (Castres), Daniel Leo (Perpignan), Teofilo Paulo (Cardiff Blues), Taiasina Tuifua (Newcastle Falcons), Alafoti Faosiliva (Bristol), Ofisa Treviranus (London Irish), Jack Lam (Hurricanes), Maurie Fa'asavalu (Harlequins), Fa'alemiga Selesele (Moata'a, Samoa).
Backs: Kahn Fotuali'i (Ospreys), Jeremy Su'a (Crusaders), Auvasa Faleali'i (Newcastle, Australia), Tusi Pisi (Hurricanes/Suntory Sungoliath), Ki Anufe (Auckland), George Pisi (Northampton Saints), Johnny Leota (Sale Sharks), Isaia Tuifua (Vigo, Spain), Brandon Va'aulu (Tokyo), Alesana Tuilagi (NTT Shining Arcs), Alapati Leiua (Hurricanes), Robert Lilomaiava (Vaiala, Samoa), Paul Williams (Stade Francais), James So'oialo (Wellington).
By Jan de Koning