Lions lock forward Anton van Zyl may have to return from the team’s Super 14 rugby tour of Australasia because of a calf muscle injury.
Hennie Brandt reports in Beeld that Van Zyl will undergo a scan on Tuesday to determine how serious the injury is. If there is a tear in the muscle, he will be on his way home before the Lions play the Waratahs in Sydney on Saturday.
The Lions, entrenched at the bottom of the Super 14 points table, suffered their seventh successive defeat last Saturday when log-leading Crusaders beat them in Christchurch.
Coach Eugene Eloff said on Monday, after the team had arrived back in Sydney, a final decision about Van Zyl would be taken as soon as the results of the scan became available.
Van Zyl was due to be on the bench against the Crusaders but was withdrawn last Friday and replaced by Wilhelm Koch.
“Cobus Grobler has been told to be on standby if Anton has to be replaced,” Eloff said, adding that Franco van der Merwe could also be switched to the lock forward position.
The Lions had a good workout in a Christchurch gymnasium before departing for Australia.
Earlier, everyone had watched television coverage of Trevor Immelman’s victory in the US Masters golf championship.
“It was unbelievable to see how well he played,” Eloff said, adding that the Lions remained positive after last week’s defeat. The team spirit was good, he said.
“The Waratahs are a good team and they’re playing good rugby. But we want to win on this tour and we have three matches in which to do so.”
Update: News 24 has meanwile revealed that The Lions have sent an SOS to the versatile Earl Rose and lock Cobus Grobler from Sydney. The duo are set to fly out to Australia to replace the injured Anton van Zyl and Justin St Jerry.
Van Zyl, one of the stalwarts of the Lions’ Currie Cup campaign last season, injured his calf muscle and had to withdraw from the bench before kick-off in Christchurch against the Crusaders last weekend. St Jerry was concussed in the same match.
With a lack of depth at flyhalf with Andre Pretorius and Louis Strydom not fit to tour and Jaco van Schalkwyk also nursing a niggling injury, the Lions have decided to replace St Jerry – a wing – with Rose.
Rose has just recovered from injury and might even be asked to play a role in the match against the Waratahs in Sydney on Saturday.
Grobler has been playing Vodacom Cup rugby for the Lions and while he hasn’t been on form, he has enough experience at Super 14 level.
His unavailability will mean that Alten Hulme will probably partner Willem Stoltz when the Lions meet the Blue Bulls in their Vodacom Cup quarter-final at Loftus in Pretoria next Friday evening.Tweet