Another day, another Whiteley injury

The Emirates Lions' Warren Whiteley (C) runs with the ball during the Super Rugby match, Emirates Lions v NSW Waratahs at the Emirates Airline Park, Johannesburg, on May 11, 2019. (Photo by Christiaan Kotze / AFP)

The Emirates Lions' Warren Whiteley (C) runs with the ball during the Super Rugby match, Emirates Lions v NSW Waratahs at the Emirates Airline Park, Johannesburg, on May 11, 2019. (Photo by Christiaan Kotze / AFP)

The unlucky Lions skipper just can’t seem to catch a break.

In another potential blow to the team, charismatic Lions captain Warren Whiteley is in doubt ahead of this weekend’s important Super Rugby clash against the Highlanders at Ellis Park.

The Lions revealed yesterday that Whiteley, who returned to the side just last week, had a knee bruise and had been advised to rest on Monday and yesterday, with a final call to be made before Thursday’s team announcement.

Lions prop Dylan Smith believed it could be just as big a blow to the hosts as the one taken by the visitors after their captain and fullback, Ben Smith, picked up a hamstring injury.

“The Highlanders are without Ben Smith and we might be without Warren.

“Both are exemplary rugby players, great leaders on and off the field,” Smith said.

“So, obviously for us, maybe missing Warren for the weekend might be difficult, but I have no doubt he will be there with us if he can’t play, on the side of the field, giving us his best wishes.”

Smith was pleased to be back in action after contributing to a decisive scrum penalty for the Lions late in their tight victory over the Waratahs last week.

“I had a bit of an unfortunate injury, fractured my cheek, but I’m back and it was a big moment in the game. I was just happy to contribute there,” he said.

Smith credited their solid scrum performances to Balie Swart, who had previously taught them good habits and techniques.

“That’s something we still bring through, and Julian Redelinghuys has also brought that through with the new guys,” he said.

“The Highlanders have a good scrummaging pack, so we will have to stick to our systems.

“We can’t go into a game looking at different things. We must modify ourselves.”

Smith said they were continuously looking for areas of improvement.

“We do our homework and look at trends … basically go around our prep looking what they might do.

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