Johannesburg - Loose forward Warren Whiteley will again captain the Lions in the 2016 Super Rugby season.
It will be the third consecutive Super Rugby season that Whiteley captains the Lions and it is still a big honour for him to do so.
“It is a massive honour for me to be captaining the side again. I absolutely love the role of captain for the Lions. Not only am I surrounded by so many leaders around me on the field, but I really enjoy the responsibility that comes with it. I enjoy making decision on and off the field,” Whiteley told the Lions’ official Facebook page.
Another big plus is the fact that the Lions didn’t lose any players coming into the new season.
“We are a great bunch of guys who all know what their roles are and what we work for. It has always been coach Ackers’ (Johan Ackermann) aim to grow the leadership in the group.”
The Lions will be off to Japan come mid-February in a very exciting first ever game in Tokyo against the new franchise, the Sunwolves.
“I have never been in Japan and we are all looking forward the awesome experience.”
The Whiteley household consists of dad Warren, mom Felicity and daughter Ava, who turned one on January 4. “Last year we left for our tour just after she was born. My wife was on her own for long periods and the first few months were difficult. This time round we’re settled, Ava is older and everything is easier.
“I miss my family tremendously when I tour and that is why I take it so serious when I am away from home,” the doting father explained while Ava was crawling and cooing in the background.
Whiteley is very excited about the new Super Rugby format and says he expects all the teams to up their game.
“I think the games this year will be even faster en more exciting than ever before. I think people are going to see rugby that they’ve never seen before. Obviously the Japanese play a different brand of rugby while the Argentines’ style is very similar to us South Africans. So go out and get your season tickets as the rugby is going to rock!” Whiteley promised.