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Lions snubbed in Bok RWC squad

2015-08-31 11:32

Cape Town - Despite playing some enterprising rugby in this year's Super Rugby tournament, no Lions player heard his name read out when Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer selected his 31-man Rugby World Cup squad on Friday.

The Lions drew plaudits across not only this country, but in Australasia for their never-say-die attitude in matches this season.

In addition to their second-place SA Super Rugby Conference finish, they currently top the standings after four rounds of Absa Currie Cup action.

While some may point out the fact "there weren't many Lions players in prior national squads this year, so why expect any now", is that a fair excuse?

Players like Lionel Mapoe, Elton Jantjies, Jaco Kriel, Franco Mostert and, in particular, Warren Whiteley, did all that could be expected of them this year.

With Duane Vermeulen, the only recognised No 8 in the Springboks squad, still feeling the after-effects of a neck operation and only likely to be fit for action in the Boks' third match in England, surely there was scope for a player of the calibre of Whiteley to be included?

Not only does Whiteley offer another lineout option, his leadership qualities are unmatched in SA rugby at present.

The breakdown of the 2015 Springbok Rugby World Cup squad is as follows:

Sharks - 8
Western Province - 7
Bulls - 6
Cheetahs - 3
Saracens - 1
Suntory - 1
Toulon - 1
Leinster - 1
Bath - 1
Ulster - 1
Stade Francais - 1

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