Loffie’s selection headaches

The Lions have been hit hard by injuries again, this time losing Doppies la Grange and Earl Rose for their away match against the Bulls on Friday.

Rose will not play after he dislocated a finger in Friday’s match against the Force while La Grange has again injured a troublesome hamstring, landing the Lions in somewhat of a crisis.

La Grange has started all the Lions matches this season while Rose has been used well as an impact player at flyhalf since the semi-finals of the Currie Cup last year. Despite this coach Loffie Eloff does not feel this will hamper his team’s chances against the men from across the Jukskei this weekend.

“We have a squad system in place – when Andre Pretorius and Jaque Fourie were injured it was also a big blow – but we have to carry on. It’s a big pity it has come now for him because he’s [Rose] been playing well and having an impact, but the next guy must come in and do the job,” Eloff told keo.co.za.

Jaco Pretorius does return from injury ,however, and he forms a new combination with Vodacom Cup centre Walter Venter. Relatively unknown Rudi Vogt has been drafted in from the Pumas as backline cover on the bench, having played fullback and outside centre. Three players have also been bracketed in for the final spot among the reserves, maybe pointing to a little indecision in the Lions camp as to what approach to take.

With Springboks Andre Pretorius and Fourie out, these new injury concerns leave the Lions evem more limited in the back division – especially in the number 10 jersey.

Lions – 15 Louis Ludik ,14 Dusty Noble ,13 Jaco Pretorius ,12 Walter Venter, 11 Rayno Benjamin ,10 Louis Strydom ,9 Jano Vermaak, 8 Joe van Niekerk, 7 Ernst Joubert, 6 Cobus Grobbelaar ,5 Willem Stoltz ,4 Gerhard Mostert ,3 Ross Geldenhuys ,2 Willie Wepener ,1 Heinke van der Merwe. Subs: 16 Ethienne Reynecke ,17 JC Janse van Rensburg ,18 Anton van Zyl, 19 Willem Alberts ,20 Chris Jonck ,21 Rudi Vogt, 22 Jannie Boshoff/Jaco van Schalkwyk/Thabang Molefe.

By Grant Ball