World Cup-winning Springbok centre Jaque Fourie is the Lions’ new captain. He will stand in for injured flank Cobus Grobbelaar when they face the Blues in Auckland on Friday.
Rugby365.com reports that Grobbelaar, sprained ankle, and centre Doppies la Grange (hamstring) have both been ruled out of the Round Nine encounter.
Lions coach Eugene Eloff, who said his regular captain, Grobbelaar, will miss only one game, confirmed that Fourie will wear the captaincy armband in Auckland.
It is just reward for Fourie, who is once again producing the form that two years ago made him South Africa’s premier outside centre.
Injuries and a loss of form hampered him since the 2007 World Cup, but this season he has been back to his brilliant best.
Other than the two injury enforced changes, Eloff is set to stay with the side that performed admirably for 60 minutes against the Chiefs at the weekend, before going down 29-36 – a result that saw them pick up two bonus points, a rare feat in this season defensive-dominated competition.
American Todd Clever was also injured against the Chiefs, but is likely to be considered for Friday’s game.
With Clever among the fit players, Eloff may decide to pick Willem Alberts at No.8. Clever and Ernst Joubert can then pack down on the flanks.
The combination was used for a while against the Chiefs after Grobbelaar was forced to leave the field.
Replacing La Grange is another story. Earl Rose replaced La Grange against the Chiefs.
When the Lions are in possession the combination of flyhalf Andre Pretorius, Rose and outside centre Jaque Fourie offers the most on attack.
Fourie is virtually impregnable on defence, but on his inside 0- in the No.10 and No.12 channels – there appears to be some defensive frailties.
Jannie Boshoff and Deon van Rensburg offer alternatives to Rose as Fourie’s midfield partner.
However, none of the three are a specialist No.12.Tweet