Pretorius may ‘roar’ for the Lions




The Lions may have Springbok fly-half Andr’ Pretorius back in the fold when they face the high-flying Western Force in a Super 14 Round Four match in Perth on Saturday.
Lions coach Eugene Eloff, speaking from the team’s base in Fremantle on the outskirts of the West Australian capital Perth, said they are “hopeful” that Pretorius will be cleared to play.

The 28-year-old Pretorius, who was appointed Lions captain at the beginning of the season, missed the first three rounds after suffering a hamstring injury in a pre-season outing.

Ernst Joubert has been wearing the captaincy armband and Louis Strydom, signed from the Falcons, has been playing in the number ten jersey.

Eloff confirmed that Pretorius will undergo a “fitness test” on Wednesday, when the team starts the formal part of their preparations, and if cleared he’ll be in the match-day 22.

Another Springbok, loose forward Jacques Cronj’, will also undergo a fitness test on Wednesday. He has also been sidelined by injury and has yet to play for the Lions since joining them from the Bulls this year.

The bad news is that star lock forward Cobus Grobler will not be considered for this week.

“It is just a precautionary measure and not a serious injury,” Eloff said of the second row forward with the striking mop of blond hair.
“He has complained of a sore knee and we don’t want to overplay him,” Eloff told this website.

Wing Jannie Boshoff, one of several young stars who have stepped up to produce credible performances in their debut year on the Super 14 circuit, has also been ruled out with a rib injury.

However, Eloff said both Grobler and Boshoff will be back next week when the side plays the Reds in Brisbane.

The Lions’ travelling arrangements has curtailed the team’s preparation time for the game considerably.

They left Johannesburg late on Monday and arrived in Perth on Tuesday morning.

Eloff decided an afternoon round of golf is the ideal way to get the players into the Australian time zone.

“I didn’t want them to go to their rooms and sleep, so the entire team went out to play golf. Now we are all nice and tired and tonight we can have a good sleep.

“Tomorrow [Wednesday] we’ll start with our preparations,” he added.

By Jan de Koning 365 Digital

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