Vodacom-Red-VIP140x525
South African Super Rugby Franchises

Bulls

**************

Stormers

**************

Cheetahs

**************

The Sharks

**************

Lions

Click on any of the pictures to go to that franchise

LionsThis is the 7th 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 MIDFIELD in the Lions 2014 Super Rugby group, and whether they could force their way into Bok contention.

 

 

The Contenders:

Name: Alwyn Wilhelm Cornelius Johannes “Alwyn” Hollenbach:

Position Centre
Height 1.89m
Weight 99kg
Date of Birth 14 June 1985
Place of Birth Johannesburg
Provincial Debut 2005 for Free State Cheetahs
Provincial Caps 78
Provincial Points 100
Super Rugby Debut 2006 for Cheetahs
Super Rugby Caps 15
Super Rugby Points 5
Test Debut
Test Caps 0
Test Points 0
Alwyn Hollenbach

Alwyn Hollenbach is a product of Newton Primary School, Grey College and University of the Free State (Shimlas).

As with so many Grey College products he went on to play for Free State age group rugby (Under 20). He also represented South Africa at the 2004 IRB Under 19 World Championships. He then went on to represent Free State at Under 21 and Vodacom Cup level before playing Currie Cup Premier Division rugby in 2005 and 2006.

In 2007 he started playing Super Rugby for the Cheetahs as well as playing Vodacom Cup and Currie Cup rugby.

In 2008 he played Currie Cup Premier Division rugby for both Free State and Griquas. In 2009 he eventually moved to the Xerox Lions where he continued playing Currie Cup Premier Division rugby.

The year 2010 was the year he first played Super Rugby for the Lions in addition to playing Vodacom Cup rugby at the Lions as well as more Currie Cup rugby.

2012 Was a year where Alwyn was injured a lot but he nevertheless played Super Rugby and Currie Cup rugby.

In 2013 Alwyn played in all competitions for the Lions, interrupted by more injury worries from time to time.

His playing career is as follows:

  • 2004 – Free State – ABSA U20 Competition Section A, South Africa – IRB U19 World Championships
  • 2005 – Vodacom Free State Cheetahs – Vodacom Cup, Free State – ABSA Under 21 Competition, Vodacom Free State Cheetahs – ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division
  • 2006 – Vodacom Cheetahs – Vodacom Super 14, Vodacom Free State Cheetahs – Vodacom Cup, Vodacom Free State Cheetahs – ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division
  • 2007 – Vodacom Cheetahs – Vodacom Super 14, Free State – Vodacom Cup, Vodacom Free State Cheetahs – ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division, Vodacom Free State Cheetahs – ABSA Currie Cup Compulsory Friendlies
  • 2008 – Wildeklawer Griquas – ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division, Vodacom FS Cheetahs – ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division
  • 2009 – Lions – MTN test, Free State – Vodacom Cup, Vodacom Free State Cheetahs – ABSA Currie Cup Compulsory Friendlies, Xerox Lions – ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division
  • 2010 – Auto & General Lions – Vodacom Super 14, Golden Lions – Vodacom Cup, Lions – ABSA Currie Cup Compulsory Friendlies
  • 2011 – MTN Golden Lions – Vodacom Cup, 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, MTN Golden Lions – ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division

If Alwyn can stay injury free, he is a very consumate and exciting centre, with lots of promise and should start for the Lions in Super Rugby 2014.

 

Name: Nicolaas Johannes “Stokkies” Hanekom:

Position Centre
Height 1.93m
Weight 101kg
Date of Birth 17 May 1989
Place of Birth Citrusdal
Provincial Debut 2012 for SWD Eagles
Provincial Caps 16
Provincial Points 30
Super Rugby Debut
Super Rugby Caps 0
Super Rugby Points 0
Test Debut
Test Caps 0
Test Points 0
Stokkies Hanekom

Stokkies Hanekom is a product of Citrusdal Primary School, Paarl Gymnasium and University of Stellenbosch (Maties).

As a pupil at Paarl Gimnasium, he started his career playing for local team Western Province at youth level, playing for their Under 19 team in 2008 and their Under 21 team in 2009 and 2010.

In 2009, he was included in the SA Under 20 team for the 2009 IRB Junior World Championship.

He had a short spell for Griquas during the 2011 Vodacom Cup tournament, but failed to make a first class appearance, despite twice being named on the bench. He was then included in the Western Province squad for the Compulsory Friendlies prior to the 2011 Currie Cup Premier Division season, but failed to break into the team.

He moved to SWD Eagles for the 2012 Currie Cup First Division season, starting all 14 games that season.

At the start of 2013, he joined the Golden Lions and was included in their squad for the 2013 Lions Challenge Series, as well as the Golden Lions’ 2013 Vodacom Cup squad.

His playing career is as follows:

  • 2008 – Vodacom Western Province – ABSA Under 19 Competition
  • 2009 – Western Province squad member – Vodacom Cup, South Africa – IRB Junior World Championships, Western Province – ABSA Under 21 Competition
  • 2010 – Maties – Varsity Cup, Western Province – ABSA Under 21 Competition
  • 2011 – GWK Griquas squad member – Vodacom Cup, Maties – Varsity Cup, DHL Western Province squad member – ABSA Currie Cup Compulsory Friendlies
  • 2012 – Maties – Varsity Cup, SWD Eagles – ABSA Currie Cup First 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

It has so far been a career of near misses for Stokkies but I rate him as a starter for the Lions at centre in Super Rugby.

 

Name: Lionel Grenton Starlone “Lionel” Mapoe:

Position Centre
Height 1.82m
Weight 87kg
Date of Birth 13 July 1988
Place of Birth Port Elizabeth
Provincial Debut 2008 for Free State
Provincial Caps 32
Provincial Points 50
Super Rugby Debut 2010 for Cheetahs
Super Rugby Caps 40
Super Rugby Points 25
Test Debut
Test Caps 0
Test Points 0
Lionel Mapoe

Lionel Mapoe is a product of Koot Niemann Primary School and Fichardtpark High School in Bloemfontein.

He is a well-travelled young man, having represented 4 of the 5 major Unions (FS Cheetahs, Sharks, Golden Lions, Bulls).

Lionel represented Free State from Under 16 level (2004) to Under 18 level (2005 & 2006), then played Vodacom Cup rugby for Free State as well as Under 19 rugby. In 2008 he prepresented Free State at Vodacom Cup and Under 21 levels and also represented South Africa at the IRB Junior World Championship.

In 2009 he represented South Africa at Sevens rugby, at the IRB Men’s Rugby World Cup Sevens and represented the Vodacom Free State Cheetahs in the ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division. and at Under 21 level.

In 2010 he made his Super Rugby debut in the Vodacom Super 14 for Vodacom Cheetahs but moved on to the Sharks for part of the Currie Cup Premier Division due to not being contracted and offered enough at the Free State Cheetahs. His stay at the Sharks was brief.

In 2011 he joined the Golden Lions where he played Super Rugby and Currie Cup.

In 2012 he once again played Super Rugby and Currie Cup and was then eventually selected for national honours at the end of year tour, where he did not earn a cap.

In 2013 he was loaned out to the Vodacom Bulls for Super Rugby and returned to the MTN Golden Lions to playe Currie Cup Premier Division rugby.

Injuries have caused havoc with Lionel Mapoe’s career, but once he shrugged off the worst, he’s constantly been performing well at Currie Cup and Vodacom Super Rugby level.

His playing career is as follows:

  • 2004 – Free State – U16 Coca-Cola Grant Khomo Week
  • 2005 – Free State – U18 Academy Week
  • 2006 – Free State – U18 Coca Cola Craven Week
  • 2007 – Free State – Vodacom Cup, Free State – ABSA Under 19 Competition
  • 2008 – Free State – Vodacom Cup, South Africa – IRB Junior World Championship, Free State – ABSA Under 21 Competition
  • 2009 – South Africa – IRB Men’s Rugby World Cup Sevens, Vodacom Free State Cheetahs – ABSA Currie Cup Compulsory Friendlies, Vodacom Free State Cheetahs – ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division, Free State – ABSA Under 21 Competition
  • 2010 – Vodacom Cheetahs – Vodacom Super 14, Vodacom Free State Cheetahs – ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division, Sharks – 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, Springbok squad member – Castle Outgoing Tours
  • 2013 – Vodacom Bulls – Vodacom Super Rugby, MTN Golden Lions – ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division

Lionel will be able backup to the Lions centres, but is also versatile enough to play wing, so he is a good bench option.

 

Name: Dylan des Fountain:

Position Centre
Height 1.87m
Weight 95kg
Date of Birth 7 June 1985
Place of Birth Cape Town
Provincial Debut 2004 for Mobil Blue Bulls in Vodacom Cup
Provincial Caps 50
Provincial Points 35
Super Rugby Debut 2007 for Stormers
Super Rugby Caps 27
Super Rugby Points 20
Test Debut
Test Caps 0
Test Points 0
Dylan des Fountain

Dylan des Fountain is a product of Noord-Eind Primary School and Paarl Gymnasium.

His career started in 2004 when he played Vodacom Cup rugby for the Mobil Blue Bulls. In 2005 and 2006 he represented the Blue Bulls at Under 21.

In 2007 he relocated to Western Province and played Super 14 for the Vodacom Stormers and Currie Cup Premier Division rugby and Vodacom Cup for WP till 2010.

In 2011 he joined the MTN Golden Lions for Vodacom Cup, the MTN Lions for super Rugby and the Currie Cup.

2012 Only saw Dylan play Currie Cup Premier Division rugby and in 2013 he played for the MTN Golden Lions in Vodacom Cup and in the Super Rugby Promotion / Relegation games against the Southern Kings before playing Currie Cup Premier Division rugby towards the end of the season.

His playing career is as follows:

  • 2004 – Mobil Blue Bulls – Vodacom Cup
  • 2005 – Blue Bulls – ABSA Under 21 Competition
  • 2006 – Blue Bulls – ABSA Under 21 Competition
  • 2007 – Vodacom Stormers – Vodacom Super 14, Vodacom Western Province – ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division, Vodacom WP – ABSA Currie Cup Compulsory Friendlies
  • 2008 – Vodacom Stormers – Vodacom Super 14, Vodacom WP – ABSA Currie Cup Compulsory Friendlies, Vodacom Western Province – ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division
  • 2009 – Western Province – Vodacom Cup, Vodacom Stormers – Vodacom Super 14
  • 2010 – Western Province – Vodacom Cup, Aironi
  • 2011 – Aironi, MTN Golden Lions – Vodacom Cup, MTN Lions – Vodacom Super Rugby, MTN Golden Lions – ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division
  • 2012 – 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

Dylan has been around the block a few times, never seeming to make it big… or big enough.

 

Name: Robert James “Robert” de Bruyn:

Position Centre
Height 1.79m
Weight 90kg
Date of Birth 28 February 1991
Place of Birth Johannesburg
Provincial Debut 2011 for Golden Lions vs Valke
Provincial Caps 15
Provincial Points 20
Super Rugby Debut
Super Rugby Caps 0
Super Rugby Points 0
Test Debut
Test Caps 0
Test Points 0
Robert de Bruyn

Robert de Bruyn is a product of Michaelhouse in Natal and University of Johannesburg (UJ).

He played for the Natal Sharks at the 2007 Grant Khomo Week and 2008 Craven Week tournaments and was also included in the 2008 Under 18 Elite squad.

He then returned to Johannesburg and played for the Golden Lions Under 19 team in 2009 and 2010 and for the Golden Lions Under 21 team in 2011 and 2012.

He made his senior debut for the MTN Golden Lions senior team in a 2011 Currie Cup compulsory friendly match against the Falcons. He started the match and scored a try in a 28–25 victory.

He made 7 starts in the 2012 Vodacom Cup competition, scoring 3 tries, the joint-third highest for the Golden Lions.

His made his first appearance in the Currie Cup competition when he appeared as a substitute against the Toyota Free State Cheetahs in the 2013 Currie Cup Premier Division.

His playing career is as follows:

  • 2007 – KZN – U16 Coca-Cola Grant Khomo Week
  • 2008 – South Africa – U18 Elite Squads, Kwazulu-Natal – U18 Coca-Cola Craven Week
  • 2009 – Lions – ABSA Under 19 Competition
  • 2010 – Xerox Lions – ABSA Under 19 Competition
  • 2011 – MTN Golden Lions XV – ABSA Currie Cup Compulsory Friendlies, MTN Golden Lions – Vodacom Cup, Lions – ABSA Under 21 Competition
  • 2012 – MTN Golden Lions – Vodacom Cup, MTN Golden Lions – ABSA Under 21 Competition
  • 2013 – MTN Golden Lions – Vodacom Cup, MTN Golden Lions – ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division

Robert is still young and has potential. I would say he might get sUPER rUGBY game time at centre before Dylan des Fountain, in 2014.

 

Starters:

If I were the Lions, I would start with Alwyn Hollenbach and Stokkies Hanekom as starting centre pairing. In Lionel Mapoe they have an excellent bench option who can cover both outside centre and wing.

Dylan des Fountain is too injury prone and inconsistent and Robert de Bruyn still has a lot to prove in big time rugby.

In a long season of super Rugby, a team needs 4 competent centres.

 

The next Article in the range will deal with the Lions Back Three.

7 Responses to Super Rugby 2014: Lions – Squad Contenders – Midfield

  • 1

    It may have been mentioned before but how many players are each Franchise allowed to name in their Super rugby squads? Will they be playing with 23 player match day squads this year, may be wrong but think I was surprised to see still 22 player squads last season?

  • 2

    @ Bullscot:
    I’ve tried looking on the Super Rugby website, but can’tfind anything regarding any regulation concerning the squad size.

    As far as the match day team is concerned (22 or 23 players) isn’t it just typical of a sporting body unable to govern uniformally the world over.

    When last I tried to enquire (in 2012) I was told that SANZAR had “decided” that their competitions would only utilise 22 players on match days and not 23 as is done in the Northern Hemisphere!

    Go figure. IRB = Fail IMO.

    Could you imagine if the Confederation of African Football (CAF) told FIFA they were going to have a “local rule” that allowed for 5 substitutes to be utilised in their games?

    I somehow can’t see it happening.

    Strangely, the IRB website for the laws (irblaws.com) actually sytates that the number of players should be 22, but that there may be Union specific variations (Law 3.14 Union Specific Variations)

    All very muddy somewhat.

  • 3

    Something I just picked up for those of us that like to think we “know the rules”, on irblaws.com, there is a place where Rugby enthusiasts can register and sit an exam om the rules, and if successfull can then print an official “Awareness Certificate”.

    From the website:

    “New Laws exam for 2013

    Registered users can access the IRB Laws exam. The exam covers the 22 Laws, variations for U-19, Sevens and Tens, Referee Signals and the Law Amendment Trials.

    After completing the IRB Laws Exam, you can download your personalised awareness certificate. Registration is free and takes only a few minutes.”

    For those interested (Scotland, Wales and France supporters?), there’s even a section in the regulation book (different to the laws) concerning the use of artificial surfaces!

  • 4

    I got a big liking in Stokkies last year, hope he continues to grow as a player.
    I am afraid Dylan will retire this year due to injuries but pray I am wrong.
    Never been a huge fan to Mapoe

  • 5

    @ Gena_ZA:
    Agreed Stokkies looks an exceptional player. Hope has an extended run this year with no serious injuries

  • 6

    @ MacroBull:

    Yes he reminds me of a young Jacque Fourie

  • 7

    Yes, Stokkies is a star for the future.


Bic

SAAAC

Rugby-Talk Super Rugby 2014

Pool Name: Rugby-Talk Super Rugby 2014
Pool Code: crowpore



Rule: You HAVE TO BE REGISTERED (as a Subscriber here on www.rugby-talk.com) to be eligible for acceptance in the Rugby-Talk pools on SuperBru.

The Pool is now CLOSED for Applications.


Bam Advert

Bornman Graphic