While their was hope that Warren Whiteley would be making a much welcomed return to rugby in this weekend’s Super Rugby clash between the Lions and Stormers, a Lions spokesperson declared to Sport24 on Wednesday that he will not be available for Saturday.
A knee injury in March has forced Whiteley to miss most of this year’s Super Rugby and the hope was that he would be able to return for at least one league game and then be available for selection come the tests against Wales and England in June.
However it seems unlikely that the number 8 will feature internationally in the upcoming series, as he will still be out for two to three weeks and would be lacking significant match fitness were he to be selected for the last test against England.
Unfortunately for the Boks, they lose not only an asset in the back row through Whitelely, but a strong captaincy contender. They will also be without the services of last year’s captain for the latter part of the international season, Eben Etzeneth.
Rassie Erasmus names his 40 strong Springbok squad on Saturday following the Lions and Stormer’s match. Among injuries to Whiteley and Eben Etzebeth are the big names of Malcolm Marx and Lood De Jager who are also set to miss the entire June series.