LIVE

    Swys: Having Whiteley fit for Boks the priority

    2018-04-21 12:38

    Lloyd Burnard

    Cape Town - The Lions will not rush skipper Warren Whiteley back into action and having him ready for the Springboks' three-Test series against England in June is the priority. 

    That is the view of Lions coach Swys de Bruin, who was speaking after his side's clinical 29-0 win over the Waratahs in Sydney on Friday. 

    It was the first of four matches for the Lions on their Australasian tour - they play the Reds, Hurricanes and Highlanders over the next three weeks - and the win solidified their position on top of the South African Conference. 

    Whiteley, who has been battling a knee injury this year, was originally named in the touring squad to Australia and was expected to make his comeback against the Waratahs. 

    He re-injured the knee in training on Monday, however, and was a late withdrawal as he visited an orthopaedic surgeon in Johannesburg. 

    There is still hope that Whiteley will join up with the Lions during their tour, but De Bruin could not confirm that on Friday.

    "I wish I could work that one out because he's ready and then he's not ... it's one of those," he said of Whiteley's latest setback.

    "The MRI and every scan shows that he's fine and then there will be a bit of a niggle.

    "Our doctor spoke to the specialist yesterday and it's looking positive."

    De Bruin acknowledged that having Whiteley fit for the Springboks was imperative, especially given the possibility of him being named Rassie Erasmus's first captain.

    "We won't be in a rush to throw him in at the deep end. We'll see how it goes," said De Bruin.

    "He's still a Springbok and he's got a good chance to lead the national team and that's the priority still."

    De Bruin credited team doctor Rob Collins for the role he played in the Waratahs win. 

    It was Collins who suggested the Lions leave Johannesburg on Wednesday for their Friday clash in an attempt to minimise the impact of changing time zones.

    "They're really now still in South African time," De Bruin said of his charges after the match.

    "This was the first time we tried it (traveling so late). We felt in Argentina that when you fly in on the Wednesday and play on the Friday or Saturday, you can manage it.

    "You have everything later ... breakfast and everything. Credit to our medical team and the conditioners for coming up with a great plan."

    The Lions take on the Reds in Brisbane next Saturday at 07:05 SA time.

    Read News24’s Comments Policy

    Fixtures

    Friday, 31 January 2020
    • Blues v Chiefs, Eden Park 08:05
    • Brumbies v Reds, GIO Stadium 10:15
    • Sharks v Bulls, Jonsson Kings Park Stadium 19:10
    Saturday, 01 February 2020
    • Sunwolves v Rebels, Fukuoka Hakatanomori Stadium 05:45
    • Crusaders v Waratahs, Trafalgar Park 08:05
    • Stormers v Hurricanes, Cape Town 15:05
    • Jaguares v Lions, Estadio Jose Amalfitani 23:40
    Friday, 07 February 2020
    • Highlanders v Sharks, Forsyth Barr Stadium 08:05
    • Brumbies v Rebels, GIO Stadium 10:15

    Results

    No results are available

    Logs

    Rank Team P W Pts
    • Bulls (Q)
    • Jaguares (wc)
    • Lions
    • Sharks
    • Stormers

    Opinion Poll

    How will the Springboks fare at this year's Rugby World Cup in Japan?

    Can you name the top Super Rugby tryscorers of all-time?

    TAKE THE QUIZ
    There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.