Lions brace for French test

2013-03-13 07:45
Johan Ackermann (Gallo Images)
Cape Town - The Lions will resume their Challenge Series campaign against French side Mont de Marsan at Ellis Park on Saturday.

However, despite not playing since beating the Kings 41-31 on February 9, they do have a few injury niggles as they prepare to face the team currently last on the French Top 14 log.

Loose forward Warren Whiteley is struggling with an ankle strain, while flank Jaco Kriel has a sore hamstring.

"We will make a call on them by Thursday," coach Johan Ackermann told the Rugby365 website.

Ackermann gave some of his players game time in the Vodacom Cup over the weekend, when the Golden Lions claimed a 45-15 win over the Leopards at the Pirates Rugby Club in Johannesburg.

Ackermann said the players needed playing time after a month-long break.

After the Mont de Marsan game on Saturday, the Lions travel to America for a two-match series against the North American All Stars.

Mont de Marsan have a strong South African connection - with players like Pieter Grobler (hooker), Vickus Liebenberg (lock), Berend Botha (utility forward) and Lodie Britz (loose forward) all having featured in their last outing, a 42-14 loss to Stade Francais in Paris.

Ackermann will name his side on Thursday.

Remaining Lions Challenge fixtures (includes Super Rugby promotion/relegation):

March 16: Lions v Mont de Marsan - Ellis Park
April 13: US Invitational (All Stars) v Lions - Ervine, California
April 20: US Invitational (All Stars) v Lions - Vancouver, Canada
April 27: Chicago Lions v Lions - Chicago
May 11: Lions v Agen - Ellis Park
June 1: Lions v Samoa - Ellis Park
June 8: Lions v French Barbarians - Ellis Park
June 15: Lions v Stormers - Ellis Park
June 21: Lions v Sharks - Ellis Park
July 12: Lions v Montpellier - Ellis Park
July 20: Lions v Grenoble - Ellis Park
July 27: Super Rugby promotion/relegation first leg -  TBA
August 3: Super Rugby promotion/relegation - Ellis Park


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