Lions limping into final match
INJURY UPDATE: The Lions are preparing for their trip to Cape Town with an ever-growing injury list.
The Lions, in the last place on the four-team Rainbow Cup South African conference, face the Stormers at the Cape Town Stadium in a dead rubber in the final round of league action.
Coach Ivan van Rooyen will be forced to field a brand new halfback pairing – with scrumhalf Andre Warner out with a fractured cheekbone, suffered in last week’s humiliating 21-33 to the Sharks.
The Ellis Park-based franchise will also be without talented flyhalf Jordan Hendrikse, who has joined the Baby Boks in their preparation for the Under-20 international series.
This tournament will feature matches between the Junior Springboks, Argentina, Georgia and Uruguay – between Friday, June 18, and Saturday, July 3.
The teenage sensation, brother of Sharks scrumhalf Jaden Hendrikse, has been a revelation in the Rainbow Cup for the Lions.
He started in all three the Lions’ home matches – playing more than 200 minutes and scoring 30 points.
It is likely that scrumhalf Morné van den Berg and seasoned flyhalf Fred Zeilinga – who were both on the bench against the Sharks this past weekend – will be the starting halfbacks.
Finding halfback replacements is not where the coach’s problems end.
Loose forward Vincent Tshituka and Reinhard Nothnagel are both in doubt for the trip to Cape Town, after suffered concussion at Ellis Park this past weekend.
Both are following ‘return to play’ protocols.
The Lions and Stormers are both out of the running for a place in the Final.
The Bulls, who top the standings with 20 points, travel to Durban, where they will face the Sharks (16 points) in a straight shootout for a place in the Final.
The Stormers are third on 13 points and the Lions last on eight.
Have wings, will fly North 🦁
— Emirates Lions (@LionsRugbyCo) June 7, 2021