Rudolph Jacobs
Rugby Journalist
1 minute read
29 Jan 2014
7:00 am

Lions to roll out their big guns

Rudolph Jacobs

Lions head coach Johan Ackermann is ready to roll out the heavy artillery, but one of his big names who won't be primed to fire this weekend is Springbok flyhalf Elton Jantjies.

FILE PICTURE: Elton Jantjies of the Lions. Picture: Gallo Images.

After trashing the NWU-Pukke, in Leopards colours, 52-14 in Kempton Park last weekend the Lions now move on to their next target, the Kings in Port Elizabeth.

But Ackermann said three players who are not ready to return just yet include Jantjies, wing Anthony Volmink and prop Ruan Dreyer.

All three are suffering from shoulder injuries and their possible return date has been set beyond the Super Rugby opener against the Cheetahs.

Last weekend’s first trial matches of the season were, according to Ackermann, a good opportunity to take stock and while his stronger side will travel to PE, a Vodacom side will travel to Polokwane to face the Blue Bulls.

“With progressively stronger opposition over the next two weeks it will be a good build-up,” said Ackermann.

Players who are back in the mix include this season’s captain,

No 8 Warren Whiteley, lock Franco van der Merwe, flank Jaco Kriel, props Julian Redelinghuys and Jacques van Rooyen, flyhalf Marnitz Boshoff, scrumhalf Michael Bondesio and fullback Andries Coetzee – all of whom were rested last weekend.

Players who returned last weekend include wing Deon van Rensburg, centre Lionel Mapoe and young flyhalf Willie du Plessis.

But it was decided to send fullback Coenie van Wyk back to the Pumas so he is available for the friendly against the Cheetahs this weekend in Parys, while centre Adriaan Engelbrecht has returned to the Pukke to continue preparations for the Varsity Cup.

Utility back and another quality option at fullback Ruan Combrinck (knee) and the experienced midfielder Dylan des Fountain (ankle) missed last weekend’s first trial matches but could be back in the mix for this weekend.