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LionsThis is the fourth in the series of the Lions Squad Contenders for Super Rugby 2014. We do 2 articles per week per South African Super Rugby participating franchise.

We discuss the players IN the Super Rugby Group, and not all the options beyond that.

In this Article we look at the contenders for LOOSE FORWARDS in the Lions 2014 Super Rugby group, and whether they could force their way into Bok contention.

 

 

The Contenders:

Name: Warren Roger “Warren” Whiteley:

Position Loose Forward (No 8)
Height 1.92m
Weight 97kg
Date of Birth 18 September 1987
Place of Birth Durban
Provincial Debut 2008 for Natal Sharks
Provincial Caps 71
Provincial Points 75
Super Rugby Debut 2011 for MTN Lions
Super Rugby Caps 23
Super Rugby Points 15
Test Debut
Test Caps 0
Test Points 0
Warren Whiteley

Warren is a product of Dirkie Uys Primary School, Glenwood High School and the Sharks Academy.

He came through the KZN and Sharks junior ranks from Under 18 level in 2005 to Under 21 level in 2007 and 2008 and also played for the Wildebeest in 2008. In 2009 he played for the Mighty Elephants in the Currie Cup First Division, whereafter he moved to the Golden Lions in 2010.

On 21 November 2012 Whiteley earned his call-up to the Blitzbokke squad.

His playing career is as follows:

  • 2005 – KZN – U18 Coca Cola Craven Week
  • 2007 – Sharks – ABSA Under 21 Competition
  • 2008 – Wildebeest – Vodacom Cup, Sharks – ABSA Under 21 Competition
  • 2009 – Sharks XV – Vodacom Cup, Mighty Elephants – ABSA Currie Cup First Division
  • 2010 – Golden Lions – Vodacom Cup, Lions – ABSA Currie Cup Compulsory Friendlies, Xerox Lions – ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division
  • 2011 – MTN Lions – Vodacom Super Rugby, MTN Golden Lions – ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division
  • 2012 – MTN Lions – Vodacom Super Rugby, MTN Golden Lions – ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division, Blitzbokke – Dubai & South Africa tournaments
  • 2013 – Blitzbokke – New Zealand tournament, MTN Golden Lions – Vodacom Cup, Blitzbokke – USA tournament, MTN Lions – Super Rugby Promotion / Relegation, MTN Golden Lions – ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division

Warren has been named Lions captain for the 2014 Super Rugby season and already has 23 Super Rugby caps to his name and as captain of the team, he is a sure starter in the Lions side .

 

Name: Derick Johannes “Derick” Minnie:

Position Loose Forward (mostly Openside)
Height 1.86m
Weight 95kg
Date of Birth 29 October 1986
Place of Birth Alberton
Provincial Debut 2006 for Golden Lions in Vodacom Cup
Provincial Caps 83
Provincial Points 125
Super Rugby Debut 2010 for Lions
Super Rugby Caps 47
Super Rugby Points 50
Test Debut
Test Caps 0
Test Points 0
Derick Minnie

Derick Minnie is a product of Randhart Primary School, Marais Viljoen High School and University of Johannesburg (UJ).

He has stayed loyal to the Golden Lions and Lions from his Under 19 days to the present but with the Lions not participating in Super Rugby in 2013 was loaned out to the Sharks in Super Rugby, where he played in 3 games for them. He played for UJ in the 2008 Varsity Cup, represented the Golden Lions Under 19 & Under 21 sides in 2005, and the Under 21 and Vodacom sides in 2006. 2007 Was his breakthrough to the Currie Cup Premier Division for the Golden Lions and 2010 he started playing Super Rugby and now has 44 caps in Super Rugby for the Lions in addition to the 3 for the Sharks.

His playing career is as follows:

  • 2005 – Golden Lions – SA Under 19, Golden Lions – ABSA Under 21 Competition
  • 2006 – Golden Lions – ABSA Under 21 Competition, Lions – Vodacom Cup
  • 2007 – Lions – Vodacom Cup, Golden Lions – ABSA Currie Cup Compulsory Friendlies, Golden Lions – ABSA Under 21 Competition, Golden Lions – ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division
  • 2008 – UJ – Varsity Cup, Golden Lions – Vodacom Cup, Xerox Lions – ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division
  • 2009 – Golden Lions – Vodacom Cup, Lions – MTN test, Xerox Lions – ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division
  • 2010 – Auto & General Lions – Vodacom Super 14, Lions – ABSA Currie Cup Compulsory Friendlies, Xerox Lions – ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division
  • 2011 – MTN Lions – Vodacom Super Rugby, MTN Golden Lions – ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division
  • 2012 – MTN Lions – Vodacom Super Rugby, MTN Golden Lions – ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division
  • 2013 – MTN Lions – Lions Challenge, MTN Golden Lions – Vodacom Cup, Sharks – Vodacom Super Rugby, MTN Lions – Super Rugby Promotion / Relegation, MTN Golden Lions – ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division

Derick is a try-scoring machine and had it not been for his propensity to concede too many penalties he might have been considered for national honours as openside flank and true fetcher. He will be a sure starter in the Lions side.

 

Name: Willem Stephanus “Willie” Britz:

Position Loose Forward (Blindside or No 8) & Lock
Height 1.93m
Weight 105kg
Date of Birth 31 August 1988
Place of Birth Cape Town
Provincial Debut 2009 for Free State Cheetahs
Provincial Caps 61
Provincial Points 70
Super Rugby Debut
Super Rugby Caps 0 (only played in the 2 Promotion / Relegation games in 2013)
Super Rugby Points 0
Test Debut
Test Caps 0
Test Points 0
Willie Britz

Willie is a product of Staatspresident Swart Primary School and Diamantveld High School in Kimberley and attended the University of the Free State (Shimlas).

He looks like a lion with his wild mane of hair and singular robust style of play and represented Griquas for 2005 and 2006 at Under 18 Craven Week as well as at Under 19 level in 2006 before heading to the Free State Cheetahs where he played Free State Under 19 in 2007. In 2008 he played for Shimlas in Varsity Cup and Free State Under 21.

In 2009 he made his provincial debut for Free State in the Vodacom Cup.

He spent a spell at the Griffons in 2010 to 2011 where he played Vodacom Cup and Currie Cup First Division rugby and still played for Shimlas in Varsity Cup.

Willie broke through to play Currie Cup Premier Division rugby for the Toyota Free State Cheetahs in 2011.

In 2012 he played for Shimlas and the Griffons before moving to the Golden Lions to play Currie Cup Premier Division rugby and is still at the Golden Lions where he plies his trade and has become more of a feature in the Golden Lions sides.

His playing career is as follows:

  • 2005 – Griquas – U18 Coca Cola Craven Week
  • 2006 – Griquas – U18 Coca Cola Craven Week, Griquas – ABSA Under 19 Competition
  • 2007 – Free State – ABSA Under 19 Competition
  • 2008 – Shimlas – Varsity Cup, Free State – ABSA Under 21 Competition
  • 2009 – Shimlas – Varsity Cup, Free State – ABSA Under 21 Competition, Free State – Vodacom Cup
  • 2010 – Shimlas – Varsity Cup, Griffons – Vodacom Cup, Griffons – ABSA Currie Cup Compulsory Friendlies, Griffons – ABSA Currie Cup First Division
  • 2011 – Toyota Free State Cheetahs – Vodacom Cup, Shimlas – Varsity Cup, Emerging Cheetahs – ABSA Currie Cup Compulsory friendlies, Tasol Solar Griffons – ABSA Currie Cup First Division, Toyota Free State Cheetahs – ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division
  • 2012 – Shimlas – Varsity Cup, Griffons – Vodacom Cup, Griffons – ABSA Currie Cup First Division, MTN Golden Lions – ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division
  • 2013 – MTN Lions – Lions Challenge, MTN Golden Lions – Vodacom Cup, MTN Lions – Super Rugby Promotion / Relegation, MTN Golden Lions – ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division

Willie makes an excellent impact player from the bench with his booming runs, but 2014 might be the year where e locks down a regular starting berth as blindside flank at the Lions .

 

Name: Jacobus Albertus “Jaco” Kriel:

Position Loose Forward (Openside)
Height 1.84m
Weight 97kg
Date of Birth 21 August 1989
Place of Birth Standerton
Provincial Debut 2010 for Golden Lions in Vodacom Cup
Provincial Caps 49
Provincial Points 70
Super Rugby Debut 2011 for MTN Lions
Super Rugby Caps 9
Super Rugby Points 15
Test Debut
Test Caps 0
Test Points 0
Jaco Kriel

Jaco Kriel is a product of Standerton Primary School, Standerton High School and the University of Johannesburg (UJ).

He played representative Under 18 rugby for Mpumalanga Country Districts in 2006 and the Pumas in 2007.

In 2008 he moved to the Lions to play Under 19 rugby and Under 21 rugby in 2009. He made his senior debut in 2010 for the Golden Lions in the Vodacom Cup and later in the year played in the Currie Cup Premier Division.

In 2011 He started playing Super Rugby for the MTN Lions whereas 2012 was chock full of rugby, from Varsity Cup for UJ, to Vodacom Cup, to Super Rugby, to Currie Cup Premier Division rugby.

In 2013 Jaco had a rapid rise to prominance where people started taking notice and where his play as openside flank became more and more prominent.

His playing career is as follows:

  • 2006 – Mpumalanga Country Districts – U18 Academy Week
  • 2007 – Pumas – U18 Coca-Cola Craven Week
  • 2008 – Golden Lions – ABSA Under 19 Competition
  • 2009 – Lions – ABSA Under 21 Competition
  • 2010 – Golden Lions – Vodacom Cup, Xerox Lions – ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division, Xerox Lions – ABSA Under 21 Competition
  • 2011 – MTN Golden Lions – Vodacom Cup, MTN Lions – Vodacom Super Rugby, MTN Golden Lions – ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division
  • 2012 – UJ – Varsity Cup, MTN Lions – Vodacom Super Rugby, MTN Golden Lions – Vodacom Cup, MTN Golden Lions – ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division
  • 2013 – MTN Lions – Lions Challenge, MTN Golden Lions – Vodacom Cup, MTN Lions – Super Rugby Promotion / Relegation, MTN Golden Lions – Absa Currie Cup Premier Division

Jaco is bound to get some quality game time in 2014 but one must remember that Derick Minnie regularly keeps Jaco from starting at openside flank.

 

Name: Thabo Mamojele:

Position Loose Forward (Blindside & No 8)
Height 1.95m
Weight 110kg
Date of Birth 29 July 1986
Place of Birth Witbank
Provincial Debut 2007 for Sharks in Vodacom Cup
Provincial Caps 39
Provincial Points 20
Super Rugby Debut 2013 for Southern Kings vs Sharks
Super Rugby Caps 1
Super Rugby Points 0
Test Debut
Test Caps 0
Test Points 0
Thabo Mamojele

Thabo Mamojele is a product of Clewen Primary School, Patriot High School, the Sharks Academy and North-West University (Pukke).

He came through the youth ranks of his local team, the Pumas until he moved to the rugby academy of the Sharks in 2006. He played two games in 2007 for their Vodacom Cup side, the Natal Wildebeest, but failed to make the breakthrough to the first team.

He had a short spell at the Falcons for the 2008 Currie Cup Premier Division, before joining the Leopards in 2009. He played for them for three seasons and also represented the NWU-Pukke in the Varsity Cup in 2009 and 2010.

In 2012, he joined the Eastern Province Kings.

He was named in the Southern Kings wider training squad for the 2013 Super Rugby season, but was subsequently released to the Vodacom Cup squad. However, he did make his debut for the Southern Kings when he came on as a substitute for their final Super Rugby match of the regular 2013 Super Rugby season against the Sharks.

He joined the Golden Lions for the 2014 season.

His playing career is as follows:

  • 2004 – Mpumalanga – U18 Coca-Cola Craven Week, @lantic Pumas – ABSA U20 Competition Section B
  • 2005 – Pumas – ABSA Under 21 Competition
  • 2006 – KZN – ABSA Under 21 Competition
  • 2007 – Wildebeest – Vodacom Cup, The Sharks (squd member) – ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division, Sharks – ABSA Under 21 Competition
  • 2008 – Valke – ABSA Currie Cup Promotion / Relegation, Wildebeest – Vodacom Cup, Valke – ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division
  • 2009 – Sharks – Vodacom Cup, Platinum Leopards – ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division, Leopards – ABSA Currie Cup Promotion / Relegation
  • 2010 – Pukke – Varsity Cup, Platinum Leopards – Vodacom Cup, Platinum Leopards – ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division
  • 2011 – Leopards – Vodacom Cup, Pukke – Varsity Cup, Platinum Leopards – ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division
  • 2012 – EP Kings – ABSA Currie Cup First Division
  • 2013 – EP Kings – Vodacom Cup, Southrn Kings – Vodacom Super Rugby, EP Kings – ABSA Currie Cup First Division

Thabo is somewhat of a rugby mercenary and journeyman, seemly fitting in nowhere special and it appears he will be rarely used in 2014 if ever .

 

Name: Warwick John “Warwick” Tecklenburg:

Position Loose Forward (Opnside)
Height 1.89m
Weight 105kg
Date of Birth 22 January 1987
Place of Birth Nelspruit
Provincial Debut 2008 for Vodacom Blue Bulls in Vodacom Cup
Provincial Caps 40
Provincial Points 30
Super Rugby Debut Has only played in the Promotion / Relegation games in 2013
Super Rugby Caps 0
Super Rugby Points 0
Test Debut
Test Caps 0
Test Points 0
Warwick Tecklenburg

Warwick is a product of Baberton Primary School, Uplands College and University of Pretoria (Tuks).

He represented Mpumalanga Country Districts at Under 18 level and the Falcons at Under 19 level before joining the Blue Bulls.

He made his first team debut for the Blue Bulls against Western Province in the 2011 Currie Cup Premier Division season.

He signed a two-year contract with the Golden Lions for the 2013 and 2014 season.

He also represented Tuks in the Varsity Cup.

His playing career is as follows:

  • 2005 – Mpumalanga Country Districts – U18 Academy Week
  • 2006 – Medicover Valke – ABSA Under 19 Competition
  • 2007 – Vodacom Blue Bulls – ABSA Under 21 Competition
  • 2008 – Tuks – Varsity Cup, Vodacom Blue Bulls – Vodacom Cup, Vodacom Blue Bulls – ABSA Under 21 Competition
  • 2010 – Tuks – Varsity Cup
  • 2011 – Tuks – Varsity Cup, Blue Bulls – ABSA Currie Cup Compulsory friendlies, Vodacom Blue Bulls – ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division
  • 2012 – Vodacom Blue Bulls – Vodacom Cup, Vodacom Blue Bulls – ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division
  • 2013 – MTN Lions – Lions Challenge, MTN Golden Lions – Vodacom Cup, MTN Lions – Super Rugby Promotion / Relegation, MTN Golden Lions – ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division

Warwick could get the odd Super rugby game, but probably from the bench and only on occasion when one of the frontrunners at openside is injured or rested.

 

Name: Lambert Smith “Lambert” Groenewald:

Position Loose Forward
Height 1.89m
Weight 113kg
Date of Birth 1 February 1989
Place of Birth Worcester
Provincial Debut 2010 for Sharks XV in Vodacom Cup
Provincial Caps 19
Provincial Points 5
Super Rugby Debut 2011 for Sharks vs Blues
Super Rugby Caps 1
Super Rugby Points 0
Test Debut
Test Caps 0
Test Points 0
Lambert Groenewald

Lambert Groenewald is a product of Worcester Primary School and Paul Roos Gymnasium.

At youth level, he captained his high school team at Paul Roos Gymnasium and represented Western Province at the 2007 Under 18 Academy Week and Craven Week tournaments before moving to the Natal Sharks. He represented them at Under 19 and Under 21 level between 2008 and 2010.

He made his first class debut for the Sharks XV in the 2010 Vodacom Cup competition. He started the opening match of the season against the Border Bulldogs and scored a try after 29 minutes to help the Sharks XV to a 69–8 victory. A further 5 appearances followed in the 2010 Vodacom Cup, as well as 8 appearances in the 2011 competition.

He did not play any Currie Cup rugby, but he did make 1 Super Rugby appearance for the Sharks when he came on as a late substitute for Ryan Kankowski in their match against the Blues.

He left the Sharks in 2011 to join Rugby Brescia in the Italian Serie A. He spent 1 season in Brescia and then joined Basque side AMPO Ordizia for the 2012–13 División de Honor de Rugby.

He returned to South Africa in 2013, joining the Golden Lions in time for the 2013 Currie Cup Premier Division season. .

His playing career is as follows:

  • 2007 – WP – U18 Academy Week, WP – U18 Coca-Cola Craven Week
  • 2008 – Sharks – ABSA Under 19 Competition
  • 2009 – Sharks – ABSA Under 21 Competition
  • 2010 – Sharks XV – Vodacom Cup, Sharks – ABSA Under 21 Competition
  • 2011 – Sharks XV – Vodacom Cup, Sharks – Vodacom Super Rugby, Rugby Brescia in Italian Serie A
  • 2012 – Rugby Brescia in Italian Serie A, AMPO Ordizia in División de Honor de Rugby
  • 2013 – AMPO Ordizia in División de Honor de Rugby, MTN Golden Lions – ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division

Lambert is not one of the premier loose forwards at the Lions but could be included in their Super Rugby larger squad.

 

Starters:

The Lions would probably start with Derick Minnie, Willie Britz and Warren Whiteley and Jaco Kriel and Warwick Tecklenburg could spend some time on the bench. I personally do not see eiether Thabo Mamojele or Lambert Groenewald getting much chance, unless the Lions are hit with injuries.

 

The next Article in the range will deal with the Lions scrumhalves.

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