The Golden Lions will have to do without the services of injury-prone Springbok flyhalf André Pretorius for the entire Currie Cup, following a second round of foot surgery for the mercurial No.10.
Rugby 365 reports that the Lions, who lost 18-20 to the Cheetahs in last year’s Currie Cup Final, start their campaign when they host the Blue Bulls at Ellis Park in Johannesburg on Saturday.
The World Cup-winning and 31-times capped Springbok, Pretorius, has not played since he injured his foot in South Africa’s tour to Wales in November last year. He underwent surgery and missed the entire Super 14 season, but now a second round of surgery has also ruled him out for the rest of the year.
Pretorius has suffered a succession of knee, ankle and foot injuries over the years, which has limited his international and domestic appearances since he made his Bok debut in 2002.
The Lions will also be without the services of fellow Boks Jaque Fourie and Joe van Niekerk, who are currently preparing with Peter de Villiers’s team in Cape Town for the one-off Test against Italy at Newlands on Saturday.
Fourie is currently also recovering from an elbow injury he suffered in the latter stages of the Super 14, while Van Niekerk could feature in the Bok team against Italy on Saturday.
They are expected to remain part of De Villiers’ Bok squad for the Tri-Nations series, which gets underway when South Africa face New Zealand in Wellington (New Zealand) on July 5.
However, the good news for the Lions is that Springbok utility back and former South African Sevens captain Jaco Pretorius has recovered from the bout of flu that ruled him out of last week’s compulsory friendly against an Eastern Cape XV and will take his place in the midfield against their Trans-Jukskei rivals the Bulls on Saturday.
Cobus Grobbelaar, who captained the Lions in the latter stages of the Super 14, is likely to again wear the leader’s armband in the extended absence of Ernst Joubert.Tweet