Whiteley out of Super Rugby 2020, playing career in balance

    2019-11-21 15:45

    Cape Town - Lions and Springbok No 8 Warren Whiteley's playing career is seemingly hanging in the balance.

    This comes after Netwerk24 reported on Thursday that Whiteley won't feature for the Lions in their 2020 Super Rugby campaign.

    Whiteley, 32, is still struggling with a knee injury which sidelined him for much of 2019.

    "Warren admitted to me he's still experiencing a lot of pain (in his knee). It's a case of him recovering nicely, only to suffer setbacks and he won't be able to play any time soon. The decision was made that he won't be involved as a player for us in Super Rugby next year," Lions chairperson Altmann Allers told the Afrikaans publication.

    Whiteley has been laid low by several injuries over the past two seasons, but it's specifically knee ligament injuries that could mean the end of his playing career.

    It's looking increasingly likely that Whiteley's future lies in coaching, with a role as Lions forwards coach rumoured to be on the cards.

    Whiteley has had a significant impact as Lions skipper over the last few years and the team reached three consecutive Super Rugby finals (2016, 2017 and 2018) under his leadership.

    He has also played in 23 Tests for the Springboks between 2014 and 2018.

    The Lions begin their 2020 Super Rugby campaign away to the Jaguares on Saturday, February 1.

    - Compiled by Herman Mostert

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