Lions centre Lionel Mapoe is recovering from a hand injury. Photo: Gerhard Steenkamp, BackpagePix

JOHANNESBURG – Lions boss Johan Ackermann has given star centre Lionel Mapoe until Wednesday to prove his fitness ahead of Saturday’s big Super Rugby showdown with the Sharks at Ellis Park.

Mapoe injured his hand against the Reds almost two weeks and missed last Saturday’s clash against the Kings in Port Elizabeth, but he trained with his teammates this week.

Ackermann will decide on Wednesday whether he is fit enough to take on the men from Durban.

If he doesn’t play, then Harold Vorster will again don the No 13 jersey.

Ackermann has also bracketed players in two other positions on his bench – namely at tighthead and loosehead prop, with there being uncertainty over the fitness of Johannes Jonker and Sti Sithole.

Players not considered for the match are Howard Mnisi, Dylan Smith, Jaco van der Walt, Ruan Combrinck and Sylvian Mahuza.

The Lions go into the clash on Saturday on the back of a big, if not convincing, win against the Kings, while the Sharks were impressive in downing the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein.

The match kicks off at 5.15pm on Saturday.

Ackermann named a provisional line-up on Tuesday, which will be finalised on Wednesday.

Provisional Lions Team

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.

Bench: Akker van der Merwe, Sti Sithole/Corné Fourie, Johannes Jonker/Hencus van Wyk, Lourens Erasmus, Kwagga Smith, Ross Cronjé, Jacques Nel, Dillon Smit/Lionel Mapoe.

Independent Media