The Lions have been a dealt a major blow in the lead up to the finals rounds of Super Rugby for 2019.

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Loose-forward Kwagga Smith – one of the Lions’ best performers this seasons – will play no further part in the competition due to an injury suffered against the Hurricanes. Early in the match, when the Lions were leading 10-7, Smith made a linebreak but failed to find his teammates and ultimately sent the ball into touch. Smith left the field immediately afterwards with what is now known to be a hamstring injury. The Hurricanes went on to win the game 37-17.

The injury issues don’t end there for the Lions, however, who will also be without lock Stephan Lewies (knee injury) and prop Sti Sithole (hamstring) for their final match of the regular season against the Bulls. Sithole should be available for the quarterfinals.

If the Lions manage to win in Pretoria this weekend, they will finish in 5th place and travel to Wellington to play the Hurricanes once more. Ironically, a loss would likely see them on the road to the Jaguares or Brumbies – fixtures which many would consider easier than the Hurricanes rematch.

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