Springbok and Lions centre Jaque Fourie is set to make his comeback after a stomach injury when the Lions meet the Blue Bulls at Loftus Versfeld in a Vodacom Cup quarter-final next weekend.
News24 reports that the South African Rugby Union has given its blessing and go-ahead for Fourie to be allowed to play in the Vodacom play-offs.
The Bok midfielder hasn’t played any rugby this year and is reaching full fitness.
Lions coach Hugo van As has requested that Fourie joins the Super 14 team in Australia, but it doesn’t make sense throwing the centre in at the deep end.
Fourie said on Tuesday that he would rather play two or three Vodacom Cup matches and be ready to play Super 14 when the Lions return from Australia.
“The rest has done wonders for my rugby appetite and body and I can’t wait to get back onto the field,” he said.
“I don’t know what Van As’ plans are, if he wants me to start or play off the bench,” says Fourie.
A fully fit Fourie can boost the Lions Vodacom Cup chances. When fit, he is one of the best centres in the world and the timing is perfect to get him match-fit, not only for the tail of the Super 14, but for national duty in time for the incoming tours.
Rose, Grobler answer Lions SOS
The Lions have sent an SOS to the versatile Earl Rose and lock Cobus Grobler from Sydney. The duo are set to fly out to Australia to replace the injured Anton van Zyl and Justin St Jerry.
Van Zyl, one of the stalwarts of the Lions’ Currie Cup campaign last season, injured his calf muscle and had to withdraw from the bench before kick-off in Christchurch against the Crusaders last weekend. St Jerry was concussed in the same match.
With a lack of depth at flyhalf with Andre Pretorius and Louis Strydom not fit to tour and Jaco van Schalkwyk also nursing a niggling injury, the Lions have decided to replace St Jerry – a wing – with Rose.
Rose has just recovered from injury and might even be asked to play a role in the match against the Waratahs in Sydney on Saturday.
Grobler has been playing Vodacom Cup rugby for the Lions and while he hasn’t been on form, he has enough experience at Super 14 level.
His unavailability will mean that Alten Hulme will probably partner Willem Stoltz when the Lions meet the Blue Bulls in their Vodacom Cup quarter-final at Loftus in Pretoria next Friday evening.