The Emirates Lions / Xerox Golden Lions have made a number of media releases in the last few days relating to player movements and news.
Herewith a summary of those releases:
Rugby World Cup Springboks Bryan Habana, Damian de Allende and Lwazi Mvovo are among a host of 15-a-side stars who will be in contention for places in South Africa’s Olympic Sevens squad, the South African Rugby Union announced on Wednesday.
They will be joined by Springbok team mates Juan de Jongh, Warren Whiteley, Cornal Hendricks and Oupa Mohoje at a 3-week training camp from Sunday in Stellenbosch as part of the South African Rugby Union’s (SARU) new Sevens strategy in Olympic year, announced Jurie Roux, CEO of SARU.
Habana has returned to his French club side Toulon and will join the training camp towards the end of the month. SARU also confirmed that Springboks Francois Hougaard and Ryan Kankowski had already signed contracts to play for the Springbok Sevens team this season.
In addition, provincial 15-a-side stars Cheslin Kolbe, Rayno Benjamin, Warrick Gelant and Jaco Kriel have also been invited to join the camp alongside SARU’s powerful, existing Sevens squad.
Jaco Kriel is back to lead the Xerox Golden Lions against the Vodacom Blue Bulls for the ABSA Currie Cup match at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria on Saturday 12 September.
With Kriel back for his 39th Currie Cup match for the Golden Lions, Kwagga Smith drops to the bench, while Martin Muller also returns from injury in the place of MB Lusaseni while Mullers’ lock partner Franco Mostert is also back.
Ross Cronjé and his Springbok halfback partner Marnitz Boshoff also makes a welcome return.
Cronjé replaces Lohan Jacobs. Boshoff runs out in the place of Jaco van der Walt, who moves to the bench.
In other changes Robbie Coetzee returns to the fray at hooker in a rotational move which sees Malcolm Marx take up the No 16 jersey and Ruan Dreyer is at tighthead prop.
Courtnall Skosan comes in for the injured Anthony Volmink at wing in the only other change to the starting line-up.
The Xerox Golden Lions medical group have released a report ahead of the team’s match against the Steval Pumas in Nelspruit this weekend.
Only 1 new injury was sustained during last weekend’s victory over the Cell C Sharks.
Loose forward Ruaan Lerm has sustained a grade II ankle ligament strain and is expected to be out of action for approximately 4 weeks.
Captain Jaco Kriel, who sustained a concussion during last weekend’s match, is recovering well and has commenced a graded return to play (GRTP) programme on Monday. He is expected to be available for selection for Friday’s match.
Emirates Lions head coach Johan Ackermann has named his team to face the Cell C Sharks in Durban on Saturday.
The forwards see several changes as Jacques van Rooyen comes in at loosehead prop. Hence, Schalk van der Merwe shifts to the bench to provide cover. Additionally, Jaco Kriel has been withdrawn due to the recurrence of a groin injury. As a result, Derick Minnie will start at openside flanker and Warwick Tecklenburg is called up to the starting line-up to fill the blindside flank berth.
There are absolutely no changes to the starting Emirates Lions backline for this match.
Meanwhile, on the wood, both Robbie Coetzee and Julian Redelinghuys have recovered from their respective injuries and have been called up to cover the hooker and prop berths respectively.
Capped Springboks Marnitz Boshoff and Julian Redelinghuys as well current captain Warren Whiteley, have all extended their contracts until 2016 with the Lions.
Additionally, Jaco Kriel and Ruan Dreyer – both who joined the Springbok squad for their 2014 year-end tour of the Northern Hemisphere – have also opted to renew their contracts.
This positive news comes just 3 weeks before the commencement of the 2015 season, providing the team with an added boost and additional consistency.
Five newcomers and two returnees have been added to the bulk of the Springboks’ Castle Lager Rugby Championship squad as the national selectors opted for continuity and rewarding form in naming a 36-man squad for next month’s tour to the Northern Hemisphere.
Twenty-nine of the 36 players named for the Castle Lager Outgoing Tour were part of the Rugby Championship squad. They will be joined by the uncapped quintet of Robbie Coetzee, Julian Redelinghuys, Nizaam Carr, Jaco Kriel and Seabelo Senatla, while Coenie Oosthuizen and Johan Goosen have been recalled to the squad for the tour of four Tests.
“It’s wonderful to have this kind of continuity in selection, while the five uncapped players in the squad have all been rewarded for superb form throughout the season,” said Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer.
“Many of the selected players were at our training camp in Stellenbosch last week where we put in a lot of very hard work. We’ll have to hit the ground running when we assemble in Johannesburg on Wednesday before we depart on what will be a challenging tour.
Lions head coach Johan Ackermann has named his 23-man team to take on the DHL Stormers at DHL Newlands on Saturday.
In the forwards, Robbie Coetzee will start at hooker, in place of Willie Wepener. Jaco Kriel returns to the starting line-up at flank.
Meanwhile, in the backline, Ross Cronje will start at scrumhalf, Anthony Volmink makes his first Vodacom Super Rugby start of the year at left wing and Chrysander Botha will start at fullback.
Lions Head Coach Johan Ackermann has made just one change to the run on side from that which was well beaten by the Crusaders to take on the Sharks at Ellis Park this weekend last week.
The full media briefing from the Lions reads:
The Lions head coach Johan Ackermann has announced his team to take on the Sharks in a Super Rugby warm up game at Ellis Park on Friday evening.
Ackermann has opted to make wholesale changes to the side that narrowly beat the Kings last weekend.
This 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 men who have to get low down and dirty, and win the ball wherever it’s available, but mostly on the ground.
I’ll kick off with the stalwarts of the 2011 season.