• Whiteley: Lions in tight spot

    Warren Whiteley – Lions
    Warren Whiteley

    Captain Warren Whiteley says the ongoing player exodus has left the Lions in a precarious situation.

    Centre Rohan Janse van Rensburg is the latest in a long line of Lions players to announce his departure after he signed a three-year deal with the Sale Sharks.

    His exit from Ellis Park comes weeks after Jaco Kriel, Franco Mostert and Ruan Dreyer confirmed they are all joining former coach Johan Ackermann at Gloucester in England. Elton Jantjies, Ross Cronjé and Andries Coetzee are also being linked with overseas clubs.

    Whiteley, who only recently returned from a lengthy injury lay-off, says that while it remains his teammates’ right to further their careers wherever they see fit, it doesn’t help the Lions.

    ‘I know making that decision to leave was not easy for any of them, but in the end, everyone has to do what is best for them,’ Whiteley told Netwerk24.

    ‘It’s actually a tough situation [for the Lions]. We were lucky to keep the squad together for the past four or five years. It’s not something that regularly happens.’

    The 30-year-old Whiteley, however, insisted that he remains committed to the Lions’ cause.

    ‘At this stage of my career, where I’m at 30 years of age, I want to stay right here and the motivation to play for the Springboks is keeping me in South Africa.’

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    Photo: Anne Laing

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