Lions go in search of elusive Super Rugby win on South American soil without Kwagga Smith
The Lions will have to go in search of their maiden Super Rugby win on South American soil without tearaway flanker Kwagga Smith.
Smith joined the Lions’ bulging infirmary and will be out for the next week with a calf strain.
He joins scrumhalf Ross Cronjé‚ lock Stephan Lewies‚ flank Cyle Brink‚ hooker Robbie Coetzee and prop Johannes Jonker on the sidelines.
Smith and Lewies‚ who had to withdraw with a bicep injury‚ are expected to regain fitness in time for the Lions’ following match against the Stormers.
Already thin in their tight five‚ the Lions resources are now also stretched in the backrow against a side that relishes close combat.
They had the option of slotting the broad shouldered Robert Kruger into their backrow‚ but instead opted for mobility in Marnus Schoeman‚ Hacjivah Dayimani and captain Warren Whiteley.
The tourists will no doubt want to enforce a quick tempo-ed game on the Jaguares. They are likely to play the bulk of the game under pressure from the hulking Jaguares forwards and will have to take sound tactical options.
The out of hand kicking of Nic Groom and Elton Jantjies will be crucial‚ so too the ability of inside centre Harold Vorster to absorb the pressure.
On their previous visits to Buenos Aires the Lions have come up short.
They lost by 12 points in 2016 and 2017 respectively and by 14 points last year.
It is worth noting‚ however‚ that the Jaguares vanquished all South African opposition at home last year.
They did‚ however‚ crash to defeat against the Crusaders‚ Hurricanes and remarkably‚ the Reds last year.
The Lions will have to improve their record away from home if they are again going to be a force in the competition.
Their only away wins last year came in Pretoria‚ Sydney and Cape Town but to be fair that is considerably better than the Sharks and the Bulls who won just once on the road‚ and the Stormers who failed to win at all away from Newlands.
The team departs for Buenos Aires via Sao Paulo on Wednesday morning.
The Lions team to play the Jaguares is:
Andries Coetzee; Courtnall Skosan‚ Lionel Mapoe‚ Harold Vorster‚ Aphiwe Dyantyi; Elton Jantjies‚ Nic Groom; Warren Whiteley (captain)‚ Hacjivah Dayimani‚ Marnus Schoeman; Marvin Orie‚ Rhyno Herbst; Carlu Sadie‚ Malcolm Marx‚ Dylan Smith.
Pieter Jansen‚ Frans van Wyk‚ Jacobie Adriaanse‚ Ruan Vermaak‚ Robert Kruger; Gianni Lombard/Dillon Smit‚ Wandisile Simelane‚ Ruan Combrinck.