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LionsThis is the 8th and last 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 BACK THREE in the Lions 2014 Super Rugby group, and whether they could force their way into Bok contention.

 

 

The Contenders:

Name: Anthony Alfred “Anthony” Volmink:

Position Left Wing
Height 1.80m
Weight 85kg
Date of Birth 10 February 1990
Place of Birth Bredasdorp
Provincial Debut 2009 for Boland
Provincial Caps 32
Provincial Points 147
Super Rugby Debut 2 June 2012 for MTN Lions vs Sharks
Super Rugby Caps 6
Super Rugby Points 0
Test Debut
Test Caps 0
Test Points 0
Anthony Volmink

Anthony Volmink is a product of Klipdale Primary School and HTS Bredasdorp.

He first represented Boland in 2006 at the Under 16 Coca-Cola Grant Khomo Week and representd Boland again in 2007 and 2008 at Under 18 Level. In 2009 he made his senior debut at Boland in the Vodacom Cup and in the same year also played Under 19, Under 21 and Currie Cup Premier Division rugby at Boland.

In 2011 he played Varsity Shield rugby for UWC and moved to the Lions where he played in the Under 21 Competition.

The year of 2012 was where his rapid rise happened and where people began to take serious notice of Anthony, as he played Vodacom Super Rugby, Vodacom Cup and Currie Cup Premier Division rugby. In 2013 he played in all competitions for the MTN Golden Lions.

He made his Super Rugby debut on 2 June 2012 for the Lions against the Sharks in Johannesburg. Volmink started the game before being replaced by Ruan Combrinck in the 61st minute of a 38-28 MTN Lions victory.

On 27 April 2013, he broke the South African tries-per-game record when he scored an incredible 9 tries in the MTN Golden Lions 161–3 victory over the hapless Limpopo Blue Bulls in the 2013 Vodacom Cup.

His playing career is as follows:

  • 2006 – Boland – U16 Coca Cola Grant Khomo Week
  • 2007 – Boland – U18 Academy Week
  • 2008 – Boland – U18 Coca-Cola Craven Week
  • 2009 – Boland Cavaliers – Vodacom Cup, Boland – ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division, Boland – ABSA Under 21 Competition, Boland – ABSA Under 19 Competition
  • 2011 – UWC – Varsity Shield, MTN Golden Lions – ABSA Under 21 Competition
  • 2012 – 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

Anthony Volmink has the speed and the attacking prowess to make the starting No 11 (left wing) berth his own at the Lions and the only suspect part of his play seems to be on defence, where he is not without faults.

 

Name: Andries Gideon “Deon” van Rensburg:

Position Right Wing
Height 1.75m
Weight 94kg
Date of Birth 24 January 1982
Place of Birth Potchefstroom
Provincial Debut 2004 for Leopards
Provincial Caps 78
Provincial Points 165
Super Rugby Debut 2009 for MTN Lions
Super Rugby Caps 41
Super Rugby Points 15
Test Debut
Test Caps 0
Test Points 0
Deon van Rensburg

Deon van Rensburg is a product of Hendrik Potgieter Primary School, Potchefstroom HTS and North-West University where he achieved his B Pharm and M Pharm degrees (chemist).

From 2002 he represented the Leopards at Under 19 and Under 21 levels. In 2004 he first played Vodacom Cup rugby before playing Currie Cup First Division rugby at the Leopards. In 2005 and again in 2006 he gravitated to Currie Cup Premier Division rugby at the Leopards and in 2007 and 2008 the Leopards were back in the Currie Cup First Division and Deon had to follow suit.

In 2009 he played Super 14 rugby for the Leopards’ Super Rugby franchise, the Auto & General Lions and also represented the Emerging Springboks and Royal XV against the British & Irish Lions before playing Currie Cup Premiership rugby for the Platinum Leopards.

He continued to play Super 14 rugby for the Auto & General Lions in 2010 and also made a permanent move to the Xerox Lions for whom he played Currie Cup Premier Division rugby and followed up for 2011 and 2012 to play Vodacom Super Rugby for the MTN Lions and Currie Cup Premier Division rugby. In 2013 he played in all local rugby competitions at the Lions.

His playing career is as follows:

  • 2002 – Leopards – Bankfin Under 21, Leopards – U19 Competition
  • 2004 – Leopards – Vodacom Cup, Leopards – ABSA Currie Cup First Division
  • 2005 – Impala Leopards – Vodacom Cup, Leopards – ABSA Currie Cup Qualifying Round, Impala Leopards – ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division
  • 2006 – Impala Leopards – ABSA Currie Cup First Division, Impala Leopards – Vodacom Cup
  • 2007 – Impala Leopards – Vodacom Cup, Impala Leopards – ABSA Currie Cup First Division, Leopards – ABSA Currie Cup Compulsory Friendlies
  • 2008 – Platinum Leopards – ABSA Currie Cup Promotion / Relegation, Profert Platinum Leopards – ABSA Currie Cup First Division
  • 2009 – Platinum Leopards – Vodacom Cup, Auto & General Lions – Vodacom Super 14, Emerging Springboks – British & Irish Lions Tour, Royal XV – British & Irish Lions Tour, Platinum Leopards – ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division, Leopards – ABSA Currie Cup Promotion / Relegation
  • 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 Golden Lions – Vodacom Cup, MTN Lions – Super Rugby Promotion / Relegation, MTN Golden Lions – ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division

It almost seems that Deon has been around forever and Deon has reached and passed his peak and the open question is can he keep some of the youngsters back from passing him and taking ownership of the No 14 (right wing) berth in 2014.

 

Name: Gideon Gerhardus “Deon” Helberg:

Position Wing
Height 1.86m
Weight 96kg
Date of Birth 27 September 1989
Place of Birth Lichtenburg
Provincial Debut 2010 for Vodacom Blue Bulls in Vodacom Cup
Provincial Caps 35
Provincial Points 55
Super Rugby Debut 2010 for Vodacom Bulls
Super Rugby Caps 1
Super Rugby Points 0
Test Debut
Test Caps 0
Test Points 0
Deon Helberg

Deon Helberg is a product of JJ van der Merwe Primary School, HTS Middelburg and University of Pretoria (Tuks).

He represented Mpumalanga in 2005 at the Under 16 Coca-Cola Grant Khomo Week, in 2006 at the Under 18 Academy Week and the Pumas in 2007 at the Under 18 Coca-Cola Craven Week before also representing South African Academy at SA Schools level.

In 2008 he had moved to Pretoria and represented the Blue Bulls at Under 19 level.

In 2009 he was part of the Vodacom Blue Bulls Vodacom Cup squad and played for the Blue Bulls in the Under 21 Competition.

In 2010 he played 1 game for the Vodacom Bulls at Super 14 and played for Tuks in the Varsity Cup (also played for Tuks in Varsity Cup in 2011 and 2012). In 2010 he also became a regular member of the Vodacom Blue Bulls Vodacom Cup side and still played some Under 21 rugby as well.

Deon moved to the Golden Lions in time for the Currie Cup Premier Division season in 2012 and since then has taken part in all the Lions competitions at senior level.

In 2011 it was revealed that he was involved in an affair with his girlfriend’s mother, which led to a fake death photo of Helberg being supplied and has also led to widely publicised court proceedings against the mother. This episode earned him the nickname of “Mamma se Liefie”.

His playing career is as follows:

  • 2005 – Mpumalanga – U16 Coca-Cola Grant Khomo Week
  • 2006 – Mpumalanga – U18 Academy Week
  • 2007 – Pumas – U18 Coca-Cola Craven Week, South Africa – SA Schools Academy
  • 2008 – Vodacom Blue Bulls – ABSA Under 19 Competition
  • 2009 – Vodacom Blue Bulls – Vodacom Cup, Vodacom Blue Bulls – ABSA Under 21 Competition, South Africa – IRB Sevens Series in George
  • 2010 – Vodacom Bulls – Vodacom Super 14, Tuks – Varsity Cup, Vodacom Blue Bulls – Vodacom Cup, Vodacom Blue Bulls – ABSA Under 21 Competition
  • 2011 – Tuks – Varsity Cup
  • 2012 – Tuks – Varsity 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

Deon Helberg is an ordinary winger, to ay the least, a mediocre player and he will be usurped by all the wings in the squad around him.

 

Name: Courtnall Douglas “Courtnall” Skosan:

Position Wing
Height 1.84m
Weight 90kg
Date of Birth 24 July 1991
Place of Birth Cape Town
Provincial Debut 2011 for Vodacom Blue Bulls vs Sharks XV
Provincial Caps 12
Provincial Points 35
Super Rugby Debut
Super Rugby Caps 0
Super Rugby Points 0
Test Debut
Test Caps 0
Test Points 0
Courtnall Skosan

Courtnall Skosan is a product of Simonsberg Primary School, Brackenfell High School, Northlink College and the University of Pretoria (Tuks).

He played for the Blue Bulls at Under 19 and Under 21 level, earning a call-up to the SA Under 20 team for the 2011 IRB Junior World Championship. He graduated to the senior team at the Blue Bulls, making his debut for the Blue Bulls in the 2011 Vodacom Cup game against the Sharks XV.

He remained at the Blue Bulls until the end of the 2013 season, making just 12 appearances at senior level. He then moved to the Golden Lions for 2014.

He also played for Tuks in their victorious 2012 and 2013 Varsity Cup campaigns.

His playing career is as follows:

  • 2010 – Vodacom Blue Bulls – ABSA Under 19 Competition
  • 2011 – Vodacom Blue Bulls – Vodacom Cup, South Africa – IRB Junior World Championships, Vodacom Blue Bulls – ABSA Under 21 Competition
  • 2012 – Tuks – Varsity Cup, Vodacom Blue Bulls – Vodacom Cup, Vodacom Blue Bulls – ABSA Under 21 Competition
  • 2013 – Vodacom Blue Bulls – Vodacom Cup, Tuks – Varsity Cup, Vodacom Blue Bulls – ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division

Courtnall is relatively young and has steadily built his career. 2014 Could be the year where he breaks into Super Rugby and stays there.

 

Name: Andries Coetzee:

Position Fullback / Wing / Centre
Height 1.81m
Weight 86kg
Date of Birth 1 March 1990
Place of Birth Bethal
Provincial Debut 2012 for MTN Golden Lions
Provincial Caps 21
Provincial Points 37
Super Rugby Debut 2012 for MTN Lions
Super Rugby Caps 13
Super Rugby Points 3
Test Debut
Test Caps 0
Test Points 0
Andries Coetzee

Andries Coetzee is a product of CR Swart Primary Schoo, Middelburg Technical High School and University of Pretoria (Tuks).

He started his career at the Pumas in 2008 where he played Under 18 Coca-Cola Craven Week rugby for them and also played for Mpumalanga in the ABSa Under 19 Competition.

In 2009 he played for Western Province in the Under 19 Competition.

In 2010, having moved back up to the Vodacom Blue Bulls, he played Under 21 rugby.

In 2011 he played for Tuks in Varisty Cup and then moved to the Golden Lions (his 4th Province and aged only 21 years old. Here he played ABSA Under 21 rugby.

In 2012 he played Vodacom Super Rugby, Vodacom Cup and ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division rugby at the Lions.

When the MTN Lions were relegated from Super Rugby for the 2013 season, he was loaned to the Sharks where he played 1 solitary Super Rugby game befor getting seriously injured and not playing Super Rugby for the rest of the season. he made his return to the Golden Lions and the return from injury in the ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division campaign of the MTN Golden Lions towards the end of 2013.

His playing career is as follows:

  • 2008 – Pumas – U18 Coca-Cola Craven Week, Mpumalanga- ABSA Under 19 Competition
  • 2009 – Western Province – ABSA Under 19 Competition
  • 2010 – Vodacom Blue Bulls – ABSA Under 21 Competition
  • 2011 – Tuks – Varsity Cup, MTN Golden Lions XV – ABSA Currie Cup Compulsary Friendlies, MTN Golden Lions – ABSA Under 21 Competition
  • 2012 – 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, Sharks – Vodacom Super Rugby, MTN Golden Lions – ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division

Andries is a very talented player but it worries me that he has already played for 4 Provinces and a further 5th Super Rugby franchise, at the slender age of 22 already, indicating quite a mercenary nature.

 

Name: Chrysander Antonio “Chrysander” Botha:

Position Fullback
Height 1.88m
Weight 78kg
Date of Birth 13 July 1988
Place of Birth Walvis Bay, Namibia
Provincial Debut 2010 for Welwitschias in Vodacom Cup
Provincial Caps 37
Provincial Points 187
Super Rugby Debut
Super Rugby Caps 0
Super Rugby Points 0
Test Debut 2 August 2008 for Namibia vs Zimbabwe
Test Caps 18
Test Points 102
Chrysander Botha

Chrysander Botha is a product of Walvis Bay High School, Boland College and University of Johannesburg (UJ).

It appears Chrysander Botha made his Test debut for Namibia before he made his Senior debut in the Vodacom Cup for the Welwitschias. He played for the Welwitschias in 2010 and 2011 and the Valke in 2010 and moved to the Golden Lions in 2013.

Botha possesses an impressive try scoring record having crossed the line many times in his 18 apperances for the Namibian side. He made his debut in August 2008 against Zimbabwe and marked the occasion with an 8-point haul from his boot. He scored his first try a year later in the August 2009 Test against the Ivory Coast and finished the match with an impressive 29 points to his name. He took part in the 2011 IRB Rugby World Cup where he scored a try against Fiji.

His playing career is as follows:

  • 2008 – Namibia – Test Rugby
  • 2009 – Namibia – Test Rugby
  • 2010 – Welwitschias – Vodacom Cup, Valke – Curie Cup, Namibia – Test Rugby
  • 2011 – Welwitschias – Vodacom Cup, Namibia – Test Rugby, Namibia – IRB Rugby World Cup
  • 2012 – Namibia – Test Rugby, UJ – Varsity Cup
  • 2013 – UJ – Varsity Cup, MTN Lions – Lions Challenge, MTN Golden Lions – Vodacom Cup, MTN Golden Lions – ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division, Namibia – Test Rugby

Chrysander has potential but just cannot make a permanent break through and stay at top level, but nevertheless should get some game time from the bench in 2014.

 

Name: Ruan Jacobus “Ruan” Combrinck:

Position Fullback / Wing / Centre
Height 1.83m
Weight 97kg
Date of Birth 10 May 1990
Place of Birth Vryheid
Provincial Debut 2010 for Western Province
Provincial Caps 15
Provincial Points 41
Super Rugby Debut 2012 for MTN Lions
Super Rugby Caps 9
Super Rugby Points 3
Test Debut
Test Caps 0
Test Points 0
Ruan Combrinck

Ruan Combrinck is a product of Lucas Meyer Primary School in Vryheid, Michaelhouse and University of Stellenbosch (Maties).

He started his career for KZN in 2007 where he represented them at the Under 18 Academy Week. In 2008 he played for KZN in the Under 18 Elite Squads and at the Under 18 Coca-Cola Craven Week as well as in the Under 19 Competition.

In 2009 he played for Western Province at Under 19 level and in 2010 at Vodacom Cup level.

In 2011 he played for Maties in Varsity Cup and for DHL Western Province in the ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division.

In 2012 he played Super Rugby for the MTN Lions and Currie Cup Premier Division rugby for the Golden Lions and in 2013 he played for the MTN Golden Lions at Vodacom Cup and ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division levels.

His playing career is as follows:

  • 2007 – KZN – U18 Academy Week
  • 2008 – South Africa – U18 Elite Squads, Kwazulu-Natal – U18 Coca-Cola Craven Week, Sharks – ABSA Under 19 Competition
  • 2009 – Western Province – ABSA Under 19 Competition
  • 2010 – Western Province – Vodacom Cup
  • 2011 – Maties – Varsity Cup, DHL Western Province – BSA Currie Cup Premier Division
  • 2012 – MTN Lions – Vodacom Super Rugby, MTN Golden Lions – ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division
  • 2013 – MTN Golden Lions – Vodacom Cup, MTN Golden Lions – ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division

Depending on injury situations and rotation policies at the Lions, Ruan Combrinck could see some Super Rugby game time in 2014.

 

Starters:

The Lions should logically start with Anthony Volmink at No 11 (left wing) but the position of No 14 (right wing) is not so cut and clear, probably with Deon van Rensburg the favourite due to his experience. At fullback it makes sense if Andries Coetzee gets the nod but there is also a possibility that coach Johan Ackermann would want both Elton Jantjies and Marnitz Boshoff in the starting lineup, resulting in Marnitz Boshoff getting the nod ahead of specialists in fullback position.

With the Lions having been out of Super Rugby for a season and because there are relative rookies and new squad members amongst the back three, it is going to be interesting times at the Lions.

 

This is the last Article in the series dealing with the Lions.

13 Responses to Super Rugby 2014: Lions – Squad Contenders – Back Three

  • 1

    “he has already played for 4 Provinces and a further 5th Super Rugby franchise, at the slender age of 22 already, indicating quite a mercenary nature”

    While I agree that having played for a number of teams / provinces at a young age MAY indicate a “mercenary nature”, it may also just indicate that a certain player is either “in demand”, or alternatively has a desire to advance that cannot (or will not) be advanced by a particular employer.

    Don’t we see exactly the same thing in the job / bussiness market every day?

    We must acknowledge that the days of “brand loyalty” basically flew out of the window with the advent and acceptance of professional Rugby Union.

    Couple that with the limited timespan associated with a Rugby players carreer, and suddenly you have the scenario where a young man with a) ambition, and / or b) financial needs either has to advance up the “corporate” ladder where he is or move to another “company” to meet his goals.

    Sure, there are always going to be the players that will “jump ship” at the drop of a hat, just as you will get guys like Franco vd Merwe (and to an extent JC Janse van Rensburg) who show loyalty to a union above and beyond what is normally accepted, but in the main, I think that most Rugby players not directly in line for International Honours just want to do the best they can for themselves and their families in the timeframe that a professional sportsman’s carreer allows.

    The less talented, the more a playe may have to move around to attain those goals. It doesn’t necessarily mean they’re mercenary, possibly just “hungry”.

  • 2

    1 @ Scrumdown:
    Sh1t, bit of a long winded waffle!

  • 3

    Apart from my rather long winded post above, I think the Lions may be a bit light in this “department”.

    Sure, blistering pace out wide, but if the injury hoodoo kicks in, I feel we may be somewhat up shyte creek without a paddle.

    Almost without exception the above players are quick, but somewhat “lig inni broek”. Some of the big “island boys” playing in the NZ franchises may just cause the Lions wingers some “defensive headaches”.

    (And that’s about as politically correct as I can put it I’m afraid”.)

  • 4

    1 @ Scrumdown:
    Started out working long ago with wide eyed notions, a wise old colleague at the time said regarding loyalty and the workplace “If you want loyalty get a dog”, unfortunately was to discover over a decade later what he meant. You are right there are that there are various ways at looking at why players move around, although to balance that out I do think that impatience and a sense of entitlement is also an issue behind what we see in various places of work in many cases with starters nowadays.

  • 5

    2 @ Scrumdown:
    Ha see post 4 for a bit of waffle from this side Happy-Grin

  • 6

    @ Scrumdown:
    Time for you to convince the union that we need a defence coach. And you have been nominated.

  • 7

    6 @ Lion4ever:
    When I served on the Chairman’s Council for 6 years, just about every suggestion that was made (by the Council’s member’s) to the Exco were dismissed with contempt.

    It was a very sobering time. When I resigned in 2010 and took a complete break from Rugby it was almost as if a weight was lifted from me.

    My “old” club recently approached me and asked to once again serve on the committee, but due to various reasons I rebuffed the request and merely stated that I would help them where I could, but not in an official position.

    Those who don’t follow the club / school Rugby scene in JHB may be unaware that all Ekhuruleni schools and clubs that were historically in the Lions “area” have been “ordered” to move across to the Valke in line with the Provincial sporting boundaries.

    This means that both Alberton and Germiston Simmer are supposed to be Valke Clubs from 1 Jan 2014, and are indeed listed on the Valke website as such.

    However, I heard in December 2013 that both clubs have “refused” to move and are insisting that they stay with the Lions, with the result that there is every possibility that Ekhuruleni Municipality will lock them out of their club grounds. Could be interesting.

    I also heard that Marais Viljoen and Hoerskool Alberton also refused to move across, and that they were informed that should they refuse to move they would be barred from participating in ANY SPORT until such time as they conform.

    This whole situation is some 5 years in the making.

    In 2010 I sat in Manie Reyneke’s office at the GLRU and he point blankly refused to discuss the situation, statin merely that the Valke “should just become a sub-union of the GLRU.”

    That was the type of attitude that drove me away.

    If the Lions believe that they don’t need a defensive coach, what do I know that may persuade them otherwise?

    Just as SARU believe that all is rosy in SA Rugby, so does the GLRU believe that all is rosy in JHB Rugby.

    “There are none so blind as those that will not see”.

    Having said that I will always support the Lions team. I do so however with my eyes wide open, and willing to criticise where needed, and of course praise where due.

  • 8

    6 @ Lion4ever:
    So in short, thanks for the nomination, but due to circumstances beyond my control, I am unable to accept the nomination.

  • 9

    @ Scrumdown:
    My pleasure, sir.

  • 10

    @ Scrumdown:
    In your view, has the management changed for the better, seeing as you have knowledge of the inner workings?

  • 11

    10 @ Lion4ever:
    I think it has, but there are many things that totally inguriate me about the way some of the GLRU staff go about doing their day to day duties.

    I think (the new) Manie is quietly getting on with things and hopefully getting the “ducks in a row”.

    As for the President, well his “public face” and his “behind doors” face are not the same.

    I’m also not surprised that he is rumoured to be wanting to stand for the SARU President’s position, as I was informed that that was his goal within 6 months of him being elected as President of the Lions.

    We must remember that there has been a lot of “dead wood” removed from the Lions in recent years, and I’m not totally sure that in all instances the “right” staff members were let go.

    The development department for example was basically decimated, and IMO has suffered because of it.

    Let’s all hope that out of the nonsense of the last 18 months a leaner and stronger GLRU emerges.

  • 12

    11 @ Scrumdown:
    inguriate = INFURIATE

    Finger trouble.

  • 13

    @ Scrumdown:
    We all suffer from that from time to time. I must say that Manie MK2 came back to me when I queried something at the Lions, and my query was not even addressed to him. But ja, from a Joe Public point of view, things do seem to better at the Lions.


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