Whiteley, born in Durban 26 years ago and who went to Glenwood High School, found his niche in Joburg after his rugby journeys saw him earn 13 Sharks caps in 2008/09 and five for the EP Kings in 2009 before joining the Lions in 2010. He hasn’t looked back.
“We are a team that don’t have a lot of stars, but we are a bunch of guys that just want to play for one another and restore the pride of the Lions jersey,” Whiteley, right, said.
And even though they will face a desperate Bulls outfit at Loftus on Saturday, Whiteley said they are not doing anything different this week.
“On Monday we start fresh, it’s a new game. We trained to do what we do every week and that is to stay in our structures,” said the Lions skipper, who has accummulated 53 Lions caps since 2010.
And now he has a team behind him who had everyone taking note after beating the Cheetahs 21-20 and even more so after running riot against the Springbok-laden Stormers last week en route to handing out a 34-10 hammering.
“I think there was a great belief in the side from the previous week’s Cheetahs game,” said Whiteley whose sniping run set up the Lions only try by centre Stefan Watermeyer inside the opening two minutes which left the Capetonians shell-shocked.
Whiteley is one of a number of players who have been united under the coaching of Johan Ackermann and most of them are discards from other unions.
This was born last year when they had to scramble for game time having missed out on Super Rugby courtesy of a boardroom decision.