Lionel Mapoe Photo: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

JOHANNESBURG – Springbok centre Lionel Mapoe has failed to recover in time from a hand injury and will miss the big Super Rugby match against the Sharks at Ellis Park on Saturday.

Mapoe hurt his hand against the Reds two weeks ago, but it was hoped he’d be fine to take on the men from Durban.

Both the Lions and Sharks have won four out of five games and only a few points separate them in their conference. A win with a bonus point for the Lions on Saturday will give them a seven-point lead over the Sharks as they head into their first bye weekend.

Coach Johan Ackermann has picked the same team that did duty in Port Elizabeth last weekend, with Harold Vorster at 13 and Madosh Tambwe on the right wing. Interestingly Ackermann has picked two scrumhalves on his bench – Ross Cronje and Dillon Smit.

“Dillon covers a number of positions so it’s good to have him in the mix. Sylvian (Mahuza) would have been considered but he is attending a funeral this weekend,” said Ackermann.

Saturday’s match kicks off at 5.15pm.

Lions Squad
Andries Coetzee, Madosh Tambwe, Harold Vorster, Rohan Janse van Rensburg, Courtnall Skosan, Elton Jantjies, Faf de Klerk, Warren Whiteley, Ruan Ackermann, Jaco Kriel, Franco Mostert, Andries Ferreira, Ruan Dreyer, Malcolm Marx, Jacques van Rooyen. Replacements: Akker van der Merwe, Corne Fourie, Hencus van Wyk, Lourens Erasmus, Kwagga Smith, Ross Cronje, Jacques Nel, Dillon Smit

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