Lions star Rohan out for the season?

Super Rugby

JOHANNESBURG – The Lions are preparing themselves for bad news this week regarding star centre Rohan Janse van Rensburg, whose further participation in the 2017 Super Rugby season is in the balance.

The hard-running inside centre tore his collateral ligament in his right knee and also damaged his posterior lateral corner in his right knee in Saturday’s 29-16 victory over the Stormers at Newlands, and is anticipating a lengthy period on the sidelines.

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Lions centre Rohan Janse van Rensburg comes face-to-face with Stormers lock Eben Etzebeth at Newlands on Saturday. Photo: Chris Ricco, BackpagePixHarold Vorster was so good as a replacement for Rohan Janse van Rensburg at Newlands that he was named the man of the match. Photo: Chris Ricco, BackpagePix

Janse van Rensburg, one of the stars of the Lions team this year having scored five tries in six matches, will be assessed by a knee specialist in the coming days after an MRI scan of his right knee revealed the bad news on Monday.

If Janse van Rensburg is ruled out of action for a lengthy period, he will be the second centre of the Lions to be sidelined following the season-ending injury suffered by Howard Mnisi in their first game of the current Super Rugby campaign.

The good news though is that the man who replaced Janse van Rensburg at Newlands, Harold Vorster, has been a regular in the team this season after spending last year on the sidelines (also because of a knee injury).

Named man of the match against the Stormers, he combined brilliantly with Lionel Mapoe, who himself has only recently returned from three weeks out of action because of a hand injury, and the two should man the midfield when the Lions next run out against the Jaguares at Ellis Park on Saturday.

The only other injury concern following the trip to Cape Town concerns flank Ruan Ackermann, who bruised his left knee and will only take contact again on Thursday.

All the other Stormers slayers, including fullback Andries Coetzee – who passed a late fitness test to play in Cape Town after suffering concussion symptoms last week – are fit and ready to exact revenge on the men from Argentina, the only side to have beaten Ackermann’s men so far this season.

Harold Vorster was so good as a replacement for Rohan Janse van Rensburg at Newlands that he was named the man of the match. Photo: Chris Ricco, BackpagePix

Meanwhile, the Lions are still waiting to hear when star flank Jaco Kriel has to appear before a judicial hearing.

Kriel was yellow-carded, and subsequently cited, for a late charge on Stormers No 10 Robert du Preez at Newlands.

Following initial consideration by the Sanzaar Foul Play Review Committee, Kriel will have to appear before a hearing, but the date, time and venue is yet to be determined.

It is almost certain though that the Springbok loose forward will cop some kind of ban, which would rule him out of at least this weekend’s match against the Jaguares.

Should that be the case, it would open the door for Sevens star Kwagga Smith to come into the starting team, with Cyle Brink, Robert Kruger or Fabian Booysen shifting on to the bench.

With the Lions coming off a good win against the Stormers and in a good space right now, Ackermann is unlikely to tinker too much with the side that ran out at Newlands for the Jaguares clash.

He’ll announce his line-up on Wednesday.

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