Warren Whiteley's wounding will focus on the performance of the trusted Cyle Brink against Springbok against the saints in the mountain. John Goliath,
Goodness knows where Brink might be at Springbok if he had not suffered a knee injury before the end of the rugby league in 2018 against Argentina.
Instead of getting a chance to make his own pocket on Bok No 7, Brink's tough decision had to see Pieter-Steph du Toit make some of his best career performances to consolidate his seat in the South African Trio for a predictable future.
Brink had an exclusive 2018 Super Rugby campaign for the lions on their way to the finish and was probably their best player in the championship match against the mighty crusaders. Brink is a big boy who can be devastating with a ball and hand and is a very aggressive defender. He would certainly look for Springbox after these performances.
It was not supposed to be, but now Brink returns from an injury and can be impressed once lions get on the mountaineers at Ellis Park on Saturday afternoon. Brink replaces another hop on Springbok, Lion Captain Warren Whiteley, who will miss the knee injury match.
Whiteley has only made four starts for The Lions this year after an inflated injury campaign. The former Springbok captain is still trying to impress the selectors, but needs matches to consolidate his place in the World Cup.
"It's not good for him or for us," said Lyons coach Svisse de Bruin. Warren is such a passionate man and he just wants to play rugby. I really feel it.
"He's in and then out and obviously a little destructive for him and us. But at least we have some qualitative depth among the free ones and we just have to adapt to this weekend again.
Lions – 15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Courtnall Skosan, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 Harold Vorster, 11 Aphiwe Dyantyi, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Ross Cronjé, 8 Kwagga Smith, 7 Cyle Brink, 6 Marnus Schoeman, 5 Marvin Orie, 4 Stephan Lewies, 3 Carlü Saddy, 2 Malcolm Marx (c), 1 Dylan Smith.
Subsidies: 16 Jan-Henning Kemper, 17 Sti Sitol, 18 Johannes Jonker, 19 Vincent Cichtuk, 20 Hadjiva Deanani, 21 Nick Jeni, 22 Shaun Reynolds, 23 Tyron Green.
Highlanders – 15 Matt Faddes, 14 Jordan Hyland, 13 Rob Thompson, 12 Tayorangi Walden, 11 Sie Tomkinson, 10 Josh John, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Shannon Frisel, 7 Luke Whitelock, 6 Dylan Hunt, 5 Tom Franklin, 4 Josh Dixon , 3 Tirel Lomax, 2 Liam Coltman, 1 Aide Johnstone.
Subs: 16 Ash Dixon, 17 Daniel Lienert-Brown, 18 Siate Tokolahi, 19 Jack Whetton, 20 James Lentjes, 21 Kayne Hammington, 22 Dan Hollinshead, 23 Waisake Naholo.
Photo: Martin Hunter / Getty Images