JOHANNESBURG – The Lions will again have to do without the services of their inspirational captain and No 8 Warren Whiteley when they host the Highlanders in a Super Rugby clash at Ellis Park on Saturday.
Whiteley has what team management are calling a “bruised knee”, and will sit out the encounter.
It is the umpteenth setback for the Bok No 8, who has started only four of the Lions’ 11 matches this season.
In the round two clash against the Stormers, Whiteley picked up a chest muscle injury and then missed seven games on the trot.
He returned to captain the side to a win against the Chiefs, but then missed the next game against the Crusaders because of a knee cartilage issue, but returned to action last weekend when he again led the side to a win against the Waratahs.
Coming in for him at eighthman this weekend will be Kwagga Smith, with Cyle Brink, who didn’t play last week because of a knee problem, too, returning at blindside flank.
Marnus Schoeman will complete the loose trio as the fetcher flank.
Injury hits @WarrenWhiteley again as he misses out on @LionsRugbyCo match v @Highlanders this Saturday. Bruised knee the problem. Kwagga to 8, Brink back at 7 and Schoeman at 6. Dylan Smith starts at 1. @IOL @IOLsport— Jacques vdWesthuyzen (@jacq_west) May 16, 2019
Hooker Malcolm Marx will again assume the captaincy of the team in Whiteley’s absence.
In the only other change to the starting team that did duty last weekend, Dylan Smith takes over from Sti Sithole at loosehead prop.
The promising Hacjivah Dayimani, who played at centre for the Lions’ SuperSport Challenge team last Saturday, comes in on the bench as loose forward cover.
Saturday’s game kicks off at 3pm.
Andries Coetzee, Aphiwe Dyantyi, Lionel Mapoe, Harold Vorster, Courtnall Skosan, Elton Jantjies, Ross Cronje, Kwagga Smith, Cyle Brink, Marnus Schoeman, Marvin Orie, Stephan Lewies, Carlu Sadie, Malcolm Marx (captain), Dylan Smith.
Bench: Jan-Henning Campher, Sti Sithole, Johannes Jonker, Vincent Tshituka, Hacjivah Dayimani, Nic Groom, Shaun Reynolds, Tyrone Green.
#LIOvHIG | @M_marxi2 retains the captaincy for the Vodacom Super Rugby clash against the Highlanders at @emirates Airline Park on Sat. @WarrenWhiteley will sit out the encounter due to the bone bruise (knee) he is nursing. pic.twitter.com/RyDlPw1xcR— Emirates Lions (@LionsRugbyCo) May 16, 2019