Kriel returns to the pride
In a timely boost for the battered Lions, former flank and captain Jaco Kriel (below) has confirmed he is back with the union for the rest of the Super Rugby campaign, after being released early from his contract with Gloucester.
Kriel’s experience and leadership could serve as inspiration for the younger players in the Lions team, who were crushed 38-8 by the Jaguares in their season opener in Buenos Aires last week.
An ankle injury, however, could prevent him from being thrown in the mix for this weekend’s first home game against the Reds.
“I’m proud to announce that I’ve rejoined the Lions on a threeyear deal,” the 30-year-old Kriel said yesterday.
“It’s really great to be back and I’m on my way to the union now to start my new job and journey and continue with the boys that I love and missed so much.”
After playing 11 Tests and 71 Super Rugby games, Kriel left for Gloucester in 2018 where his game time had been limited due to injuries and playing conditions.
“I also missed all the Lions fans and I can’t wait to see all the supporters there this weekend for our first home game of the season against the Reds.
“I can’t wait for all the supporters to fill up the stadium like back in the day and I want to say thank you for all the positive messages I’ve already received from those who are welcoming me back home.”
Meanwhile, according to an injury update released by the Lions, scrumhalf Andre Warner was also in doubt for this weekend’s clash after picking up an ankle sprain last week, and he was due to go for a scan yesterday.
There was some good news for the squad, however, as centre Dan Kriel, who left the field early against the Jaguares after a midair collision, should be ready for this week’s fixture and scrumhalf Ross Cronje is also on the mend.