Mapoe out as Lions prepare for Stormers

FILE PICTURE: Lionel Mapoe of the Lions. Picture: Duif du Toit / Gallo Images.

FILE PICTURE: Lionel Mapoe of the Lions. Picture: Duif du Toit / Gallo Images.

The Lions suffered a big setback on Thursday when star centre Lionel Mapoe had to be withdrawn from the side to face the Stormers in a Super Rugby clash at Newlands on Saturday.

Lions head coach Johan Ackermann, who named his side on Thursday, otherwise showed consistency in naming just two changes to his side who scored a monumental 27-22 win over defending champions the Waratahs last weekend at Ellis Park.

In the midfield, Alwyn Hollenbach, who missed last weekend’s game, will start at inside centre after Mapoe was unable to pass a late fitness test following a knock to his knee during last weekend’s win over the Waratahs.

As a result Harold Vorster, who scored the Lions’ third try last weekend, will shift from inside to outside centre for the match.

On the bench, centre Howard Mnisi will come in for fellow midfielder Stokkies Hanekom, who also sustained a minor knee injury in last weekend’s game.

Lions captain Warren Whiteley, who was one of five Lions players who attended a three-day training camp from Monday to Wednesday, said the flying won’t influence their performance on the weekend.

“It was no problem flying down there on Sunday and flying back on Wednesday,” said Whiteley on Thursday during the Lions team announcement.

“We know the conditions down there and we’ve played at Newlands before after a bit of rain and we know the field’s drainage is not as good as up here at Ellis Park so if the surface is damped then we’ll be prepared for it,” he said.

Whiteley said in reference to the Lions’ defeat of 19-16 in last season’s Currie Cup final at Newlands that it can’t and won’t have any influence on this weekend’s result.

Flyhalf Marnitz Boshoff who, during the Currie Cup final, missed the last penalty which could’ve sent the Final into extra time, finds himself on the bench this time.

“It’s a total different competition and while we are proud of our performances this season, the fact is that we haven’t achieved anything yet,” said Whiteley.

Lions: 15. Andries Coetzee, 14. Ruan Combrinck, 13. Harold Vorster, 12. Alwyn Hollenbach, 11. Courtnall Skosan, 10. Elton Jantjies, 9. Faf de Klerk, 8. Warren Whiteley (capt), 7. Warwick Tecklenburg, 6. Jaco Kriel, 5.  Franco Mostert, 4. Martin Muller, 3. Julian Redelinghuys, 2. Armand van der Merwe, 1. Schalk van der Merwe

Bench: 16. Malcolm Marx, 17. Corne Fourie, 18. Ruan Dreyer, 19. Robert Kruger, 20. Kwagga Smith, 21. Dillon Smit, 22. Marnitz Boshoff, 23. Howard Mnisi




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19 January 2019 TURFFONTEIN

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