Lions lose Tiaan Swanepoel for 10 weeks
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JOHANNESBURG – The Lions will be without the services of Tiaan Swanepoel for up to 10 weeks, the union revealed in a statement on Monday afternoon.
Swanepoel limped off the field in the 13th minute of the team's opening Rainbow Cup South Africa encounter against the Bulls on Saturday, after being pinned in a tackle-ruck situation. As a result, the full-back right fibula was fractured, and he will be out injured for the next two months and in all probability, he will not feature again in the Rainbow Cup.
It will be noted as a huge loss for the Lions, who rely on his boot for territorial gain, and more importantly slotting over penalties from virtually anywhere on the field. In his place, however, EW Viljoen will no doubt be afforded the opportunity to start, and prove his worth to the team and its supporters with continuous performances.
Utility-back Divan Russouw can now also get more of a look in, if so required by coach Ivan van Rooyen. The biggest concern regarding Swanepoel's injury will be at flyhalf, as the No 15 is the natural backup to Fred Zeilinga. If the former Cheetahs player suffers any injury, it could possibly leave the Lions uncomfortably thin in depth at pivot.
Willem Alberts will also not be available for this weekend's clash against the Sharks as he continued to recuperate from a calf injury. There is some good news for Lions' fans though. Ruan Dreyer and Jaco Visagie will both be available for selection this weekend.
The Lions team announcement is set for Thursday.