October 21, 2013 in Uncategorized
The Lions Challenge is finished and for the Lions the Currie Cup is over. They are taking a welcome break until mid November when the Super Rugby pre-season training starts and coach Johan Ackermann has made it clear – there will be no big signings, no “star” players joining, before the Super Rugby competition starts in February next year.
In 2012 the Lions franchise partners, for reasons of their own, joined the crowd to vote the Lions out of Super Rugby. Well, the Lions are back! But the fact is, considering the players they’ve lost, they are back where they were at the start of 2011 with a squad made up of a few old loyal black manes and bunch of inexperienced young males looking to start with a new pride.
It is time for the Lions to bury the hatchet and look at the personnel their franchise partners have who can add value to the squad.
At the Pumas you can start at the top cat, Jimmy Stonehouse. This man has kept the Pumas competitive after they got dumped out of the Currie Cup Premier Division and have managed to retain a squad of good journeyman players. Pulling him into the Lions Super Rugby coaching set up is a no-brainer.
I don’t claim to have followed the Pumas and Leopards players through their competitions but having performed well in the First Division their surely must be a few players who could make the step up.
The Pumas, I believe, have a number of players who could add value to the Lions playing squad, players like Coenie van Wyk, Faf de Klerk, Stefan Watermeyer, Rosco Specman, Corne Steenkamp and Renaldo Bothma. And at the Leopards you have players like BG Uys, Morne Hanekom and Luther Obi.
But now for the biggest hatchet to be buried, the one aimed at Cheeky Watson’s head. Isn’t it time for the Lions and the Kings to look to work together at strengthening both franchises. Let’s face it, SARU has screwed it up royally, maybe it’s time the franchises look to help each other grow rather than cut each others’ throats.
The Kings still have a few of their Super Rugby players left, players with experience who can add value not only to the Lions but also to a future Kings squad. Currently on the books at the Kings are players like Michael Killian, George Whitehead, Ronnie Cooke, Sergeal Petersen, Steven Sykes, Darron Nell and Devin Oosthuizen.
Beggars can’t be choosers, Ackers!