Rainbow Cup

Big Lions blow as Tiaan Swanepoel ruled out of Rainbow Cup, Alberts still missing

play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
Tiaan Swanepoel and Wandisile Simelane combined for the Lions' clinching try. (Gallo Images)
Tiaan Swanepoel and Wandisile Simelane combined for the Lions' clinching try. (Gallo Images)
  • The Lions will, rather predictably, be without Tiaan Swanepoel for the rest of the Rainbow Cup campaign.
  • The 24-year-old fullback went off early in the match against the Bulls in what has revealed to be a fractured fibula.
  • Willem Alberts is still unavailable, but stalwarts Jaco Visagie and Ruan Dreyer are back in contention for selection.

As expected, the Lions won't be able to employ Tiaan Swanepoel's massive boot and attacking skills for the rest of the Rainbow Cup SA campaign.

The 25-year-old fullback, widely expected to have played a key role for the men from Ellis Park over the next six weeks, left the field early in the past weekend's defeat to the Bulls with a lower leg injury.

A scan on Monday revealed that Swanepoel has a fractured right fibula, which will keep him out of action for approximately three months. 

However, given how sombre Ivan van Rooyen, the Lions' head coach, came across after the match, the eventual prognosis is arguably not as terrible as initially feared.

The presence of EW Viljoen and Divan Rossouw also means that the franchise is well stocked to deal with Swanepoel's absence.

In another setback, veteran Willem Alberts - who was widely expected to be installed as skipper for the tournament - still isn't available for selection due to a calf problem.

The 36-year-old former Springbok added immense value to the Lions' product with his grunt and skill in last season's promising Currie Cup campaign.

Those losses are offset to an extent by the return of hooker Jaco Visagie and versatile prop Ruan Dreyer.

Visagie will provide much-needed experience and work-rate up front, though Dreyer's absence wasn't as keenly felt given the fine form of the underrated and ever improving Sti Sithole.

The Lions' next match is against the Sharks in Durban on Saturday.

Kick-off is at 16:00.  

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24