Lions retain Whiteley as captain

Date published: January 28 2016

The Lions have retained Warren Whiteley as captain ahead of the 2016 Super Rugby season.

Succeeding Josh Strauss in 2013, Whiteley was the hot favourite to retain the captaincy for the third year running in the upcoming 2016 season.

Last year the Lions placed eighth overall on the Super Rugby table, their highest ever finish to a campaign, finishing above the Bulls, Sharks and Cheetahs.

The experienced No 8 welcomed the opportunity to lead the team again.

“It is a big honour to again lead the Lions in the Super Rugby competition. I take the task very seriously while I also enjoy making decisions on and off the field," Whitely said.

“While I think nothing has changed it becomes easier. Also because we’ve got such a great core of leaders around me.”

However, as their pre-season warm-up games approach next month, they will be without six of their key players due to injury: Derick Minnie, Ruan Combrinck, Harold Vorster, Ross Cronje, Martin Muller and Justin Ackerman.

Whiteley, who has made 52 Super Rugby appearances for the Lions, was described as the obvious choice by Head Coach Johan Ackermann, who believes that keeping the same captain as the last two years builds continuity.

Whiteley was a member of the Springbok side during the 2014 Rugby Championship and Outgoing Tour, and wore the green and gold again during the 2015 Rugby Championship.