Lions captain Warren Whiteley faces a tough decision about his playing career after being ruled out for the entire 2020 Vodacom Super Rugby season.
Netwerk24 reports that Whiteley will not feature at all for the Lions next season as he is still struggling with the knee injury that plagued him throughout 2019.
Lions chairperson Altmann Allers told the publication that the 32-year-old No 8 continues to experience pain in his knee and a decision was made not to involve him in Super Rugby.
‘It’s a case of him recovering nicely, only to suffer setbacks and he won’t be able to play any time soon,’ Allers said. ‘The decision was made that he won’t be involved as a player for us in Super Rugby next year.’
Whiteley has consistently struggled with injury over the last two years, but the fact that it involves his knee ligaments is even more concerning. It is looking increasingly likely that Whiteley could start making the transition into coaching, with a future role as Lions forwards coach rumoured.
The 23-cap Springbok famously led the Lions to three consecutive Super Rugby finals between 2016 and 2018. The Lions missed out on the playoffs in 2019 after finishing in ninth place on the overall Super Rugby log.
The Lions begin their 2020 season with a trip to Buenos Aires to face last season’s finalists the Jaguares on 1 February.
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