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Rugby | Vodacom Super Rugby

Lionel Cronje © Gallo Images

Cronjé to miss entire Super season

Bulls utility back Lionel Cronjé’s hopes of clinching a permanent Vodacom Super Rugby place were dashed by injury, ruling him out for the rest of the Southern Hemisphere tournament.

Cronjé, who moved at the end of last season from the Stormers because of a lack of gametime, suffered a pectoral muscle tear in his chest during the curtain-raiser last Friday against the Sharks XV while playing for the Blue Bulls Vodacom Cup side. The Blue Bulls won the game 23-0.

“Lionel will be operated on this week and he will be out of action for at least six months. I cannot see him playing Super Rugby this year,” Vodacom Bulls team doctor Org Strauss said.

Cronjé played for the Stormers in 2011 and had his season there disrupted when he tore knee ligaments. He has recovered well from that injury while in Pretoria and was due to make his Bulls debut in 2012.

“It is a big setback to us for sure,” Vodacom Bulls coach Frans Ludeke admitted. “Lionel was part of our plans en would have been very valuable for our tour to Australasia in a couple of weeks because he is so versatile. It is a real pity for Lionel as well, as he has worked really hard to get back to his best following his knee injury.”

Cronjé's injury comes a day after it was confirmed Johann Sadie would be out of action for three weeks following a shoulder injury.

The Bulls did, however, welcome vice-captain Wynand Olivier back to training and he is likely to fill the void left by Sadie this weekend.


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