Home Emirates Lions O! Captain my Captain

O! Captain my Captain

Photo: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

The Lions will go on tour next week with the good news that Warren Whiteley, Ross Cronje, Rohan Janse van Rensburg and Aphiwe Dyantyi are all expected to be cleared to play.

Although the Lions got back to the old winning ways against the Stormers last weekend at home they struggled since Whiteley got injured.

He plays a vital role within the team and on the field which was missed by not just the players but also the coach.

The Lions will leave on the 17 April to play the Waratahs, Reds, Hurricanes and Highlanders.

The Lions have a bye this weekend for a well earned rest before the tour.


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  1. With these guys back , this becomes a v good squad. Might be a big rusty. On pure playing talent no ways whitely can oust JLDP at 8. But he does seem to have an influence on the sides he captains. There is also PSDT and verneulen at 7 and 8. Tough one but nice problem for Boks to have. V happy that Aphiwe back – could be revelation for Boks

  2. @cab:

    I think you’ll find Jean-Luc du Preez plays 7, so not really competing with Whiteley. Daniel du Preez is the brother that plays 8, and on recent form, I would opt for Whiteley.

  3. Talking of loosies however, why on earth is Philip van der Walt so massively underrated? He has been very good everytime I have seen him playing for the Sharks.

  4. @Craven:

    Yes but I’d have JLDP at 8. His brother Dan is also good but JLDP in different league at the moment to anyone else. PSDT also playing v well in a kak team – and keeps trying. Can’t see how he can be left out either. Kwagga is bloody amazing. Kolisi can also be outstanding (but dip in form with poor WP). Then there’s vermeulen too. Dunno if I’d have both whitely and kolisi in same backrow v England.

  5. @Craven: Sharks need a loose forward with skills and not physicality it seems. Lions need a physical character. Perhaps swop Kwagga for Van Der Walt.

    The skipper doesn’t need to be the best in his position… just one of the best AND the best captain. Whiteley as Lions skipper ticks the boxes FOR SURE.

    I haven’t seen Vermeulen for over a year in SA so suggesting he is still better than Whiteley is like cab’s obsession with Reinhard Elstadt of 2012 and John Mitchell 2011… it is Parkinsons for young men… who screw sheep dolls in France.

    We could do with a back row of

    6. Jean-Luc
    6. Jaco Kriel
    8. Whiteley

    Scary possiblities exist…

  6. agree with whitely over vermeulen – not sure tho on both the lighter kolisi and whitely in same backrow v England

  7. @cab:

    You do not have a choice in RSA. Or else you will see the likes of Oupa start to filter back into the pack.

    JLDP is not a better 8 than Whitely… Just like Juan Smith was never a better 8 than Joe Van Niekerk. Whitley is a quicker standing starter off the back straight off the bat.

    JLDP (and his bro), whilst both possess the knack of the try-assist passes and off-loads… really do need to back themselves a bit more in open play. They really do have the pace and stepping ability for big boys… much like Keiran Read does and took awhile to back himself in that very department.

    That said every time JLDP does off-load/pass in that situation… it is almost always setting someone else (and the team) up for 5 points.

  8. Bryce -Think you were right about JLDP from start, but I think he’s a better 7 and 8 than anyone in the world. There’s also Kriel – this Bok side with willemse , Goosen , WLR – could be something else.

  9. @cab: Willemse can’t kick, can’t pass, and has been shown up 2 weeks in row. The guy has talent, but let’s wait before calling him our messiah or into the Bok squad. Same with Goosen, guy hasn’t played for a year and a half and haven’t played flyhalf in a much longer time.

  10. @Aldo: Willemse needs two Junior WC to evolve and only then we can see if talent complements higher honors

    I will not even look at him until he is 21

  11. @Craven:

    Every team needs at least one blood-nut in it to be uber successful.


    Boks need to return to a more pragmatic game to get straight back into being competitive… Pollard, RDP, Jantjies in that order for mine. Willemse is nowhere yet… cannot even remember seeing Goosen play there in 5 seasons… and WLR is a full-back or winger or bench utility.

  12. The Sharks last two games have shown what it takes to come close to beating or at least being competitive against the AB`s and England. Their in-your-face defence and pragmatic forward play on top of some enterprising backline play when earning the right, not to mention a ten, twelve and fifteen that can all boot the ball tactically and exiting and they are half way there. Add RDP`s 90% goal-kicking and the better aspects of Bulls/Lions play and they will at least not be being drilled by England this 3 test your… well hopefully not in the first test after handing the Poms a gift by flying over to the States to play Wales and then straight back to altitude where the Poms would have been camped for two weeks.

  13. I do not have massive expectations from the Boks this year. While I do hope they beat the Poms (even 2-1 will be OK), I will be more interested to see where Rassie is going (selection, game plan and agility to change if shit happens). He has a challenging schedule this year, including a hectic EOY. My fear is that he will go the same route as most of his predecessors the last 20 years: Start adventurous and go back to geriatric, static, stampkar if the results are not coming.

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