Cape Town - Springbok skipper Warren Whiteley will know on Monday whether the
groin tear that kept him out of Saturday’s final Test against France
could impact on him leading the Lions in the business end of Super Rugby
or captaining the national team in the Rugby Championship that follows.
Whiteley was withdrawn mere hours before kick-off at Ellis Park on Saturday.
Stormers lock Eben Etzebeth took over the captain's armband, becoming only the 59th Springbok to do so, and led his team to a 35-12 victory - and series whitewash over an outclassed France side.
“Warren has been struggling with a
bit of a groin strain for a while. We decided to give him as much time
as possible to be declared fit, but then he landed awkwardly in a
lineout session,” coach Allister Coetzee said in the post-Test press conference.
“We sent him for a scan and did a
little sonar that revealed that has a little tear. We didn’t want to
risk him. Sometimes you use a medical team to patch up a player and make
it possible for him to get through a game, but we decided it wasn’t
worth the risk. The team consists of 31 players and the whole week
Warren did not train with the team, so it wasn’t a big disruption for
“I was proud of the way the team coped under pressure. Even
was vice-captain so everyone knew who would take over when Warren is
out. We don’t know at this stage how serious the injury to Warren is. He
will be assessed on Monday and a decision will be taken together with
the medical team of the Lions.”
The Lions, currently in a battle for top-spot in the overall Super Rugby standings, next play the Sunwolves in Johannesburg on Saturday, July 1.
The Springboks' next assignment is on Saturday, August 19 against Argentina in their opening Rugby Championship match in Port Elizabeth.