Johannesburg – The Golden Lions will welcome back their talisman and captain Warren Whiteley to the side this week but will have to say goodbye to both Elton Jantjies and Lionel Mapoe.
According to the supersport.com website, A number of the Springboks who missed out on selection in Friday night’s Rugby World Cup squad of 31 will return to their provinces this week, and are likely to be seen in Absa Currie Cup action this coming weekend.
And while the Lions will be ecstatic at Whiteley returning to the fold, they have confirmed that both Jantjies and Mapoe will immediately be heading to Japan to join clubs there for the foreseeable future and are only likely to return next year for Vodacom Super Rugby.
All three were unlucky to miss out on selection for the squad, with coach Heyneke Meyer preferring Morne Steyn to Jantjies as the third flyhalf and also only taking three midfielders, with Mapoe losing out.
Whiteley is one of a number of top loose forwards that didn’t make the cut, with Heinrich Brussow and Marcell Coetzee’s names also among the unlucky ones.
Coetzee, scrumhalf Cobus Reinach and utility back Frans Steyn will return to the Sharks, while the Blue Bulls are set to receive midfielder Jan Serfontein and tighthead prop Marcel van der Merwe back from the Bok camp, creating a headache with both their midfielders playing well in their unbeaten run thus far.
The Cheetahs will get wing Cornal Hendricks and flank Teboho “Oupa” Mohoje back, while props Vincent Koch (Pumas) and Steven Kitshoff (WP) will both also return to their provinces.
All these players form part of the standby squad for the Boks at the Rugby World Cup in case there are injuries, with the Boks leaving for London on September 11.