Whiteley and De Jager laid low by injuries
LIONS skipper Warren Whiteley was the biggest injury casualty from round two of Super Rugby, although the Bulls are also sure to miss the presence of their captain Lood de Jager for a fortnight.
Whiteley suffered a pectoral muscle tear in the loss to the Stormers, and while there were some fears that he could be ruled out for the remainder of the season, it was confirmed on Monday that he should recover in six to eight weeks.
While that it is the relatively good news, coach Swys de Bruin has highlighted just what an important figure Whiteley is to the team, both as a leader and player.
The Lions are also a bit light when it comes to back-row depth at the moment, with Cyle Brink still unavailable, while Jaco Kriel headed overseas last year.
With Whiteley unavailable, it’s expected that Hacjivah Dayimani will start at No 8 when the Lions take on the Bulls this Saturday.
Ironically, the Bulls will also be without their skipper after De Jager suffered a shoulder injury against the Jaguares last weekend.
He will miss the next two weeks of action, with Handre Pollard set to take over the captaincy in his absence. De Jager’s presence will be sorely missed for the next fortnight, while there are a host of other players still on the sidelines.
There will be another big South African derby this weekend when the Sharks take on the Stormers in Durban.
The good news for the Durban-based side is that star winger S’bu Nkosi did not suffer any serious injury despite having to be stretchered from the field last Saturday after hurting his neck.
The Sharks will be fully aware that this likely to be one of their most physical clashes of the season, particularly now that Frans Malherbe and Eben Etzebeth have returned to fitness. Both Boks may well be included in the Stormers’ starting lineup this Saturday.
The Lions and Bulls will face off in Johannesburg at 15:05 on Saturday, followed immediately after by the derby between the Sharks and Stormers in Durban. – African News Agency (ANA)