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Lions dealt a huge blow after captain Warren Whiteley rule out for at least six weeks

The Emirates Lions catpain Warren Whiteley is out for six weeks through injury.
The Emirates Lions catpain Warren Whiteley is out for six weeks through injury.
Image: Carl Fourie

The Lions have been dealt a significant blow with the news that captain Warren Whiteley will be out of action for at least six weeks with a pectoral muscle injury.

Whiteley‚ who was sidelined for much of last season with injury‚ left the field in the first half of last Saturday’s Super Rugby derby clash against Stormers after he attempted to make a tackle.

Scans have revealed that the injury will take between six and eight weeks to heal‚ which means he will only return some time in April.

The rosiest prognosis will see Whiteley return for the derby clash against the Sharks on Friday‚ April 5 at Ellis Park‚ while the worst will see him run out against the Chiefs in Hamilton two weeks later.

It had been feared that the injury would have a graver impact on his and the Lions’ season.

Last May‚ Bulls lock Lood de Jager injured a pectoral muscle which required surgery and a six month lay-off.

That Whiteley’s absence will be a huge loss cannot be understated.

The Lions felt his absence almost immediately after he left the field in the 37th minute at Newlands.

He had scored a try in helping set up a 14-6 lead but his team failed to fire and made some tactical blunders in the second half.

When he was injured over the last two seasons the Lions elevated flank Jaco Kriel and lock Franco Mostert to captain respectively.

The former excelled‚ while the latter braved through his responsibilities but the Lions still reached consecutive finals.

They had Elton Jantjies at the helm in Whiteley’s absence at Newlands and it is a role in which he is likely to continue starting this week against the Bulls at Ellis Park.

Jantjies remonstrated on a number of occasions with referee Egon Seconds at Newlands last weekend‚ and although he was at times justified‚ his line of enquiry and borderline petulance didn’t serve the team well.

The Lions name their side to play the Bulls on Thursday.

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