The Golden Lions – looking to the future
February 21, 2013 in Uncategorized
I know all the interest is in the Super Rugby competition, which effectively starts on Friday but looking at the Golden Lions team for the Vodacom Cup warm-up match against the Pumas this weekend I had a glimpse into the future.
With the Lions’ senior players focused on the Lions Challenge and other possible Vodacom Cup contenders involved in the Varsity Cup the Golden Lions Vodacom Cup squad is a group of youngsters seriously short on experience.
With the five week layoff before their match against French club Mont de Marsan the Lions may give some of their senior players a run against the Leopards in the first Vodacom Cup match in March but for most of the competition the Golden Lions will field what can only be called a development team as most of the players played Under 19 or Under 21 rugby last year and are all under 23, except for ex-Blue Bull, ex-Lion, ex-Puma Johan Jackson. The average age of the squad is 20.29 and, to be honest, I’ve only heard of three or four players.
From this selection it is clear that the Lions will be using the Varsity Cup and the Vodacom Cup to identify their backup players for the future. This squad also clearly highlights the effect being dumped from Super Rugby had on the depth in the GLRU – most of these player should still be playing junior rugby but are asked to make the step-up to senior rugby a year or two earlier.
Vodacom Cup squad:
15 Leroy Afrika (20), 14 Senzo Shabalala (19), 13 Harold Vorster (19), 12 JP du Plessis (20), 11 Jacques Nel (20), 10 Fanie Booysen (22), 9 Ruan van Rensburg (19), 8 Willie Newman (19), 7 PJ Uys (22), 6 Kwagga Smit (20), 5 Jannie Stander (19), 4 Tiaan Benade (20), 3 Devon Martinus (20), 2 Rikus van Niekerk (21), 1 Henri Boshoff (21)
Replacements: 16 Eugene le Maitre (20), 17 Edgar Vermeulen (20), 18 Chris van Zyl (22), 19 Lourens Erasmus (19), 20 Dylan Peterson (22), 21 Wynand Venter (19), 22 Damien Engledoe (20), 23 Johan Jackson (26), 24 Van Zyl Botha (22), 25 Pieter Bothma (19), 26 Gideon Meiring (19), 27 Janneman Stander (19), 28 Claude Tshidibi (20)
Some of the players not considered (most are in the UJ team):
Kobus De Kock, JR Esterhuizen, Bradley Moolman, Chrysander Botha, Vian van der Watt, Malcolm Marx, Wiseman Kamanga, Fabian Booysen, Steph de Witt, Ross Cronje, Mark Pretorius, AJ le Roux