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

Lions boosted by stars’ return

Rudolph Jacobs

The Lions' current fairytale run in Super Rugby is set to receive another boost next week with the return of two of their stars, flyhalf Elton Jantjies and wing Anthony Volmink.

Johan Ackermann. Picture: Gallo Images

Jantjies, the only other Springbok apart from lock Franco van der Merwe, and Volmink, who scored some breathtaking tries for the red and white last year, have both missed the opening two matches due to shoulder injuries.

Lions coach Johan Ackermann, who decided not to risk the duo for today’s Jukskei derby against the Bulls at Loftus, said they could both come back into the picture for next weekend’s Sharks clash in Durban.

“Anthony is another class player and at the moment he is working very hard on his conditioning,” Ackermann said of his flying wing.

The coach also said he was truly blessed to have two such quality No 10s as Jantjies and Marnitz Boshoff.

“Elton showed his quality coming off the bench last weekend for the Vodacom Cup team and now it’s just a question of working on his confidence and match fitness, while more work needs to be done on his conditioning.”

Meanwhile, captain Warren Whiteley is setting the perfect example as the leader of the pride by leading the Lions tackle stats at 24 tackles executed in the first two matches. He is followed by flank Jaco Kriel on 21 and Van der Merwe on 15.

“There is big confidence in the side after the first two wins,” Whiteley said, “but each week there is more of a focus on the process and pressures created are more a case of coming from within.

“But we are also aware that the Bulls created plenty opportunities in their first two matches which they couldn’t capitalise on and they will be very confident playing at home.”