Whiteley stays home for now

Warren Whiteley of Lions during the Super Rugby match between DHL Stormers and Emirates Lions at DHL Newlands Stadium on February 23, 2019 in Cape Town, South Africa. (Photo by Carl Fourie/Gallo Images)

But it probably won’t be like that for very much longer as the Lions go on tour.

Springbok No 8 Warren Whiteley won’t be on the plane on Tuesday evening when the Lions depart for their tough three-match Super Rugby tour of Australia and New Zealand.

While Whiteley has recovered from a chest injury, he would not be considered for the opening tour game against the Brumbies in Canberra this weekend, it was confirmed.

The skipper could nonetheless return for the second tour game against the Chiefs or the third fixture against the Crusaders.

Lions coach Swys de Bruin named 26 players for the tour, including 15 forwards and 11 backs, with the 27th spot due to be filled by Whiteley after the Brumbies game.

Hooker Malcolm Marx was retained as captain of the squad, which featured 11 Bok players and two other Bok squad members.

A big boost was the inclusion of livewire loose forward Kwagga Smith, who has recovered earlier than expected from the groin injury he picked up against the Rebels two weeks ago.

Whiteley was one of six players who had been placed on standby, along with centre Harold Vorster, flank James Venter, hooker Jan Henning Campher, fullback Tyrone Green and centre Wandisile Simelane.

Those who were not considered due to injuries include Dylan Smith (cheekbone), fellow prop Jacobie Adriaanse (hamstring), hooker Pieter Jansen (calf), locks Reinhardt Nothnagel (shoulder) and PJ Steenkamp (fractured tibia and fibula), flanks Robert Kruger (ankle) and Vincent Tshituka (ankle), No 8 Ruan Vermaak (fractured right thumb), scrumhalf Dillon Smit (hamstring) and centre Manuel Rass (concussion).

Vermaak, Campher and Green are the only members of the match 23 who did duty against the Sharks last week who are not available due to injuries.

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