JOHANNESBURG - Wing Aphiwe Dyantyi and loose-forward Cyle Brink have both passed fitness tests and will join their Lions team-mates on the flight out of Joburg on Monday night ahead of Saturday’s Super Rugby final against the Crusaders in Christchurch.
Dyantyi hurt his hamstring against the Waratahs in the semi-final on Saturday and was in doubt for this week’s match, while Brink missed the last-four clash completely after hurting his shoulder in the quarter-final. Lions coach Swys de Bruin cleared both men early on Monday morning, saying it was “a blessing” he had a full squad to pick from for the final. De Bruin opted to take 25 men to New Zealand for the match.
“Well done to our medical team for getting these two guys cleared,” said De Bruin about Dyantyi and Brink, who are likely to feature in the starting team Saturday.
The Lions are chasing their first title after losing to the Hurricanes and Crusaders in the finals of 2016 and 2017 respectively, while the men from Christchurch are hunting their ninth title. Cold and wet conditions are expected on the south island of New Zealand on Saturday, something De Bruin said would have an impact on the team he picks for the match.
“The weather might play a role ... I see it’s going to be six degrees (Celsius) on Saturday when we kick off, with a 21km/hour wind, and we know that stadium well. It’s all steel, there’s no concrete, so there’s no protection. It’s a great ground to go and play at,” he said cheekily.
De Bruin added he was excited by the challenge that lay ahead for his team. “I can see the sharpness in the eyes, the brotherhood, it’s exciting times for us,” he said. The Lions were set to fly out of Joburg on Monday evening, and arrive in Christchurch on Tuesday night (local time).
Lions squad: Andries Coetzee, Ruan Combrinck, Aphiwe Dyantyi, Courtnall Skosan, Lionel Mapoe, Harold Vorster, Howard Mnisi, Elton Jantjies, Shaun Reynolds, Ross Cronje, Dillon Smit, Warren Whiteley, Hacjivah Dayimani, Lourens Erasmus, Cyle Brink, Kwagga Smith, Marnus Schoeman, Marvin Orie, Franco Mostert, Ruan Dreyer, Johannes Jonker, Jacques van Rooyen, Dylan Smith, Malcolm Marx, Corne Fourie.