The Lions Rugby Company has signed Nicholas Groom from Northampton Saints, and Nic will be with the Lions from 31 March 2018 until 31 October 2019. The Lions welcome Groom and his family to Johannesburg.

    "My time in England with the Saints has been hugely satisfying. I've learned so much and I'm a better player and person for it. The opportunity to return to SA has come a lot sooner than expected but it's one that I am really excited about. I'll be joining a great team with high ambitions," Groom said.




    Team sheet...




    The Xerox Golden Lions will start their SuperSport Rugby Challenge campaign at home on 28 April when they host the Steval Pumas while they travel to Windhoek to meet the Namibian Welwitschias a week later.


    The community-centred provincial tournament, launched last year feature a number of televised triple-header match-ups in the form of Sunday Rugby Festivals that are played in community venues and will be free to the public.


    The Lions will meet the Vodacom Blue Bulls at the Longdale stadium on June 24 while the Pumas will meet the Valke. Arguably the two top open clubs in Lions country, raiders and Pirates will meet in a Pirates Grand Challenge fixture.


    The format of the tournament will again see five teams battle it out in each of the North, South and Central pools, with all 14 unions and Namibia taking part.


    As happened in 2017, Sunday Festivals will kick off with a televised Gold Cup qualifying match featuring a big derby between two local premiership clubs.


    The SuperSport Rugby Challenge Pools


    • North: Vodacom Blue Bulls, Xerox Golden Lions, Hino Valke, Steval Pumas, Namibia Welwitschias
    • Central: Toyota Free State, Down Touch Griffons, Tafel Lager Griquas, Leopards, Cell C Sharks
    • South: Boland Cavaliers, Border Bulldogs, EP Elephants, SWD Eagles, DHL Western Province


    The top two teams from each pool, together with the two third-placed teams with the most log points, will qualify for the quarterfinals, scheduled for the weekend of 30 June/1 July.


    The semifinals will once again take the form of a televised double-header on Sunday 8 July, with the final a week later, on Sunday 15 July.


    The Sunday Rugby Festivals dates


    • 22 April: Wolfson Stadium, Kwazakhele, Port Elizabeth
    • 13 May: Newrak Impala Rugby Club, Rustenburg
    • 20 May: Bridgton Sports Ground, Oudtshoorn
    • 17 June: Sisa Dukashe Stadium, Mdantsane
    • 24 June: Bill Jardine Stadium, Longdale, Johannesburg


    SuperSport Rugby Challenge Fixtures
    (please note most venues and kickoff times are still to be confirmed)


    Sat 21 April

    • Steval Pumas v Vodacom Blue Bulls (Nelspruit Rugby Club, 15h00)
    • Windhoek Draught Welwitschias v Hino Valke
    • Tafel Lager Griquas v Cell C Sharks
    • Leopards v Down Touch Griffons (HS Schweizer Reneke, Schweizer Reneke, 15h00)


    Sunday 22 April
    Triple-header Rugby Festival at Wolfson Stadium, Kwazakhele (live on SS10)

    • Gold Cup Qualifier club curtain-raiser (teams TBC) – 10h30
    • Boland Cavaliers v Border Bulldogs (12h45)
    • DHL Western Province v Eastern Province (15h00)


    Saturday 28 April

    • Eastern Province v SWD Eagles (Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port Elizabeth)
    • Vodacom Blue Bulls v Windhoek Draught Welwitschias (Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria)
    • Xerox Golden Lions v Steval Pumas  (Emirates Airline Park)
    • Border Bulldogs v DHL Western Province
    • Down Touch Griffons v Toyota Free State
    • Tafel Lager Griquas v Leopards (Tafel Lager Park, Kimberley, 15h00)


    Saturday 5 May

    • Toyota Free State v Leopards (Friday, 4 May, Shimla Park, Bloemfontein, 18h00)
    • DHL Western Province v Boland Cavaliers (DHL Newlands, Cape Town)
    • Cell C Sharks v Down Touch Griffons (Kings Park, Durban, 14h30)
    • Windhoek Draught Welwitschias v Xerox Golden Lions
    • Hino Valke v Vodacom Blue Bulls
    • SWD Eagles v Border Bulldogs


    Saturday 12 May

    • Hino Valke v Xerox Golden Lions
    • Windhoek Draught Welwitschias v Steval Pumas
    • Boland Cavaliers v SWD Eagles  (Wesbank Sports Grounds, Malmesbury, 15h00)
    • Border Bulldogs v Eastern Province


    Sunday 13 May
    Triple-header Rugby Festival Impala Rugby Club, Rustenburg (live on SS10)

    • Gold Cup Qualifier club curtain-raiser (teams TBC) – 10h30
    • GWK Griquas v Toyota Free State (12h45)
    • Leopards v Cell C Sharks (15h00)


    Saturday 19 May

    • Steval Pumas v Hino Valke (Mbombela Stadium, 15h00)
    • Boland Cavaliers v Eastern Province (Grabouw RFC, 15h00)
    • Tafel Lager Griquas v Down Touch Griffons (Sivos Stadium, Kathu)
    • Toyota Free State v Cell C Sharks


    Sunday 20 May
    Triple-header Rugby Festival at Bridgton Sports Ground, Oudtshoorn (live on SS10)

    • Gold Cup Qualifier club curtain-raiser (teams TBC) – 10h30
    • Vodacom Blue Bulls v Xerox Golden Lions (12h45)
    • SWD Eagles v DHL Western Province (15h00)


    Saturday 26 May  

    • Leopards v Tafel Lager Griquas (Friday, 25 May, Fanie du Toit Sports Grounds, Potchefstroom, 15h00)
    • Border Bulldogs v Boland Cavaliers (Friday, 25 May, BCM Stadium, 19h00)
    • Vodacom Blue Bulls v Steval Pumas (Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria)
    • Hino Valke v Windhoek Draught Welwitschias
    • Eastern Province v DHL Western Province
    • Toyota Free State v Down Touch Griffons


    Saturday 2 June

    • Leopards v Toyota Free State (Friday, 1 June, Fanie du Toit Sports Grounds, Potchefstroom, 15h00)
    • Windhoek Draught Welwitschias v Vodacom Blue Bulls
    • Steval Pumas v Xerox Golden Lions (Mbombela Stadium, 15h00)
    • DHL Western Province v Border Bulldogs
    • SWD Eagles v Eastern Province
    • Down Touch Griffons v Cell C Sharks


    Saturday 9 June

    • Vodacom Blue Bulls v Hino Valke (Fri 8 June, Loftus Versfeld, 15h00)
    • Xerox Golden Lions v Windhoek Draught Welwitschias (Fri 8 June, venue & time TBC)
    • Border Bulldogs v SWD Eagles
    • Boland Cavaliers v DHL Western Province (Boland Park, Worcester,   15h00)
    • Cell C Sharks v Leopards (Piet Retief Rugby Club, Piet Retief, 17h00)
    • Toyota Free State v Tafel Lager Griquas


    Saturday 16 June

    • Xerox Golden Lions v Hino Valke
    • Steval Pumas v Windhoek Draught Welwitschias (Sasol Secunda Rugby Club, 15h00)
    • SWD Eagles v Boland Cavaliers
    • Down Touch Griffons v Leopards (HT Pelatona Stadium, Welkom, 15h00)


    Sunday 17 June
    Triple-header Rugby Festival at Sisa Dukashe Stadium, Mdantsane (live on SS10)

    • Gold Cup Qualifier club curtain-raiser (teams TBC) – 10h30
    • Cell C Sharks v Tafel Lager Griquas (12h45)
    • Border Bulldogs v Eastern Province (15h00)


    Saturday 23 June

    • Eastern Province v Boland Cavaliers
    • DHL Western Province v SWD Eagles
    • Down Touch Griffons v Tafel Lager Griquas
    • Cell C Sharks v Toyota Free State


    Sunday 24 June
    Triple-header Rugby Festival at Bill Jardine Stadium, Longdale, Johannesburg (live on SS10)

    • Gold Cup Qualifier club curtain-raiser (teams TBC) – 10h30
    • Hino Valke v Steval Pumas (12h45)
    • Xerox Golden Lions v Vodacom Blue Bulls (15h00)


    Saturday 30 June / Sunday 1 July – venues TBC

    • Quarterfinals (including 1 triple-header festival)


    Sunday 8 July – venue TBC

    • Semifinals (triple-header festival)


    Sunday 15 July – venue TBC

    • Final (festival)


    Source: André Bester - 061 400 4883


    Match Report >


    Emirates Lions sing the Blues


    The Emirates Lions sang the Blues at Emirates Airline Park on Saturday afternoon when the Auckland based franchise inflicted their first defeat of the 2018 Vodacom Super Rugby season.

    A try in the last seconds by the Baby Black flyhalf Stephen Perofeta guaranteed the Blues a 38-35 victory, after trailing 21-10 at the break and 28-10 shortly thereafter. The Lions were masters of their own demise playing high-risk rugby when they defended a slender lead and the Blues made full use of the opportunities presented to them.

    The Lions led 21-3 a minute before the siren sounded for the end of the first half but Akira Ioane scored between the upright to pull the lead back a bit. His brother Rieko Ioane scored a brace to get his side into striking distance and with the score on 28-24 it was anyone’s game.

    A try by prop Dylan Smith gave the Lions some breathing space. A Lion's mistake led to a try by flanker Jimmy Tupou and the Lions could have scored from the kick-off when Aphiwe Dyantyi charged down Perofeta’s kick. The TV referee ruled that it wasn’t a try and the Blues fought their way upfield for Perofeta’s try.


    Blues: Tries: Rieko Ioane (2), Akira Ioane, Tupou, Perofeta. Conversions: Gatland (3), Perofeta (2). Penalty: Ruru


    Emirates Lions win local derby


    The Lions were on a roll at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday en route another run-away bonus point victory of 49-33 over their neighbours across the Jukskei, the Bulls.

    Their seven tries, which included four tries by the tight five in the first half and a penalty try in the second, however secured another bonus-point victory. Two late tries by the Bulls with most of the first choice players already being subbed, inflated the Bulls’ scoreline.

    The Lions pack laid the foundation and the first two tries were scored by props, Ruan Dreyer and Jacques van Rooyen, followed by a five pointer by Marvin Orie, orchestrated by Elton Jantjies. The 'Incredible Hulk', Springbok hooker, Malcolm Marx scored next, after a driving maul, which set up their victory.

    Referee Marius van der Westhuizen awarded a penalty try to the Lions in the second half after another successful driving maul. This victory belonged to Warren Whiteley and his pack, brilliantly supported by Elton Jantjies’ pin-point kicking to touch.

    The backs later joined the party with Sylvian Mahuza first oustripping Warrick Gelant with ease before Ross Cronjé scored from a line-out move.


    Springboks v England Test Tickets


    Test tickets for the Springbok test at Emirates Airline Park against England on 9 June went on sale online on Friday 2 March at 12:00.

    Ticket prices for the test start from R150.

    This is a last call to supporters to consider purchasing Lions Membership for the season as it includes all the Vodacom Super Rugby matches including the play-offs as well as the test and an Emirates Lions Super Rugby jersey while all Currie Cup matches are also included. Membership prices start at R1630.

    Clients who have not renewed their 2017 Membership tickets will have until 9 March 2018 to do so before those tickets will be released to the public.

    Restrictions on tickets in the Membership blocks will be on reserve until 30 March 2018 for Members before they go on sale to the general public.

    “We look forward to welcoming Rassie Erasmus’ new Springbok team for their first test at home at Emirates Airline Park. The stadium has a rich history between these two sides. Who can ever forget Danie Gerbers’ hat-trick at the then Ellis Park in 1984 as the Springboks dismantled England in a then record 35-9 win at Ellis Park. Hopefully in 2018 they can create similar memories,” said Edgar Rathbone, Managing Director of EPS (Pty) Ltd.

    It will be England’s first stop on the South African tour when they face the Springboks on 9 June in Johannesburg. England last visited these shores in 2012 when the Springboks won the first two of the three Tests, while the final encounter ended in a draw.

    A new era of Springbok rugby under new coach Rassie Erasmus is on the cards.

    England and South Africa have been playing each other in Test rugby since 1906, and, by November 2016, had met in 38 Test matches.

    South Africa lead the series by 23 wins to 13, with 2 matches drawn. Their first meeting was on 8 December 1906, as part of the Springboks' first tour of Europe, with the match ending in a 3–3 draw.

    England won the most recent meeting between the teams on 12 November 2016 at Twickenham, 37-21, the only test South Africa has lost against the English since November 2006 with a draw in Port Elizabeth in 2012.


    Emirates Lions top in try fest

    Emirates Airline Park - Saturday 24-Feb-2018

     The Emirates Lions won both their opening Super Rugby games for the third season running on Saturday by defeating the visiting Jaguares 47-27 at Emirates Airline Park.

    The Lions led 19-10 at the break after a try just before the break when Andries Coetzee scored after receiving a back of the hand pass from the in-form Lionel Mapoe.

    The game once again belonged to the new wing twins, Aphiwe Dyantyi and Sylvian Mahuza.

    Dyantyi scored one of the best tries seen at this stadium in recent years with a long range effort in the second half in which he backed himself and beat the last line of defence with a change of pace and fancy footwork.

    Big Rohan van Rensburg also made an impact from the bench with his strong runs and scored a typical bulldozing try.

    The crowd were on the feet at the final whistle when Warren Whiteley ended proceedings with a try when he ran into space and side-stepped the last defender.


    Lions roar against the Sharks

    17-Feb- 2018

    The Lions made it seven in a row against the Sharks at Emirates Airline Park on Saturday with a 26-19 victory in their first Super Rugby fixture of the season.

    Four tries helped the home side secure a home victory and a very entertaining and physical match and the result was in the balance right until the end.

    A brace by Springbok centre Lionel Mapoe and a try each by Aphiwe Dyantyi and Kwagga Smith kept the Lions’ noses in front for the last hour after a fine try by Shark flyhalf Robert du Preez.

    The Sharks pressed hard at the end and two turnovers by Marnus Schoeman and Hacjivah Dayimani stopped their momentum.

    The Lions laid the foundation of the first half momentum in the scrums and only the Sharks will know why they didn’t start Beast Mtawarira and Curwin Bosch in particular.



    Jacques van Rooyen will run out in his 50th Vodacom Super Rugby game when the Emirates Lions host the Cell C Sharks at Emirates Airline Park on Saturday at 17:15.

    The Emirates Lions welcome back their Blitzbok Kwagga Smith who will don the number six jumper.

    Youngster Aphiwe Dyantyi gets his first taste of Super Rugby at wing, filling the big shoes of injured wing Courtnall Skosan.

    Another youngster, Hacjivah Dayimani, has been included on the bench and loan player Marnus Schoeman (Pumas) will also warm the bench. Should they take the field, both will make their Super Rugby debut for the Emirates Lions.

    16-Feb 2018



    Currie Cup Forward Player of the Year Marvin Orie
    Currie Cup Backline Player of the Year Ashlon Davids
    Currie Cup Player of the Year Kwagga Smith
    Super Rugby Forward Player of the Year Franco Mostert
    Super Rugby Backline Player of the Year Ross Cronje
    Super Rugby Player of the Year Malcolm Marx
    Supporters’ Player of the Year Malcolm Marx
    Players' Player of the Year
    Malcolm Marx
    Most Valued Player of the Year Malcolm Marx
    Golden Lions Women’s Referee of the Year Ashleigh Murray
    Golden Lions Women’s Backline Player of the Year Kimico Manual
    U19 Forward Player of the Year PJ Botha
    U19 Backline Player of the Year Jack Hart
    U19 Player of the Year Dian Schoonees
    U21 Backline Player of the Year Eddie Fouche
    U21 Forward Player of the Year / Player of the Year Jo-Hanko (Pikkie) de Villiers


    World Sports Betting, SA’s Leading Online Sportsbook have announced the signing of Lions Rugby Company as their official sports betting partner for the next 3 years.

    This sponsorship will be for all international and local tournaments and comes shortly after their 2017 acquisition of the Headline Sponsor of the now World Sports Betting Cape Cobras.

    Speaking about the newest sponsorship, Ryno du Plessis, National Marketing Manager of World Sports Betting pointed out the brand’s complete passion to support local teams and South African sport as a whole.

    “World Sports Betting, a renowned and house-hold brand throughout South Africa, offers national and global betting in all sporting events,” said Du Plessis. “When looking for a partner on the Rugby stage, we looked no further than the Lions. Their commendable performance in recent years have made them a perfect match for our brand."  Du Plessis also expressed his and his team’s dedication to inject more excitement into the Lions supporters in-stadium and promises some amazing promotions and activations over the next three years.

    Warren Tannous, finding CEO of World Sports Betting and a passionate supporter of Lions Rugby called the sponsorship a ‘highlight’ to the company’s year and future.

    “Growing up in a family who supported the franchise for as long as I can recall, saw us take the decision to partner with the Lions without hesitation. In fact it is something I have been looking to do for several years. Today, rugby is a big part of our business and product offering. We offer hundreds of Live In-Play and Pre-match markets on all local and International rugby and for me, seeing our brand associated with a world-wide franchise such as the Lions is an absolute honour,” he commented.

    Edgar Rathbone, Managing Director of EPS (Pty) Ltd, welcomed World Sports Betting on board as the latest sponsor to the Lions Rugby Company, to be sported on the back of the Vodacom Super Rugby shorts. “We are proud to be associated with World Sports Betting, a brand that has gone from strength to strength in the past few years. We know it will be a long and prosperous relationship.”

    World Sports Betting is also a major sponsor of South African cricket, boxing, mixed martial arts and horse racing and supporters over 18 are invited to find out more about them by visiting www.wsb.co.za or by following them on Social Media.


    Pictured from left to right are: Ross Cronjé, Carl van der Walt (Commercial Head of MegaPro), Edgar Rathbone (Managing Director of EPS (Pty) Ltd.), Malcolm Marx, Warren Whiteley, captain of the Emirates Lions, Franco Mostert, Elton Jantjies and Ryno du Plessis (Marketing Manager of World Sports Betting) with the new Emirates Lions shorts for Vodacom Super Rugby 2018 sporting the new sponsor on the back. (pic © Deon van der Merwe/Lions Rugby Company)



    1 Adriaanse Jacobus Petrus Prop (Lions Rugby Company)
    2 Brink Cyle Justin Loose Forward (Lions Rugby Company)
    3 Coetzee Robin Leendert Hooker (Lions Rugby Company)
    4 Coetzee Andries Fullback (Lions Rugby Company)
    5 Combrinck Ruan Injured Wing (Lions Rugby Company)
    6 CronjÈ Ross Scrumhalf (Lions Rugby Company)
    7 Davids Ashlon Flyhalf (Lions Rugby Company)
    8 Dayimani Hacjivah Loose Forward (Lions Rugby Company)
    9 Dreyer Ruan Martin Prop (Lions Rugby Company)
    10 Dyanti Aphiwe Wing (Lions Rugby Company)
    11 Engelbrecht Willem Gerhardus Loose Forward (Lions Rugby Company)
    12 Erasmus Lourens Jacobus Lock (Lions Rugby Company)
    13 Ferreira Andries Stephanus Injured Lock (Lions Rugby Company)
    14 Fourie CornÈ Hooker/Prop (Lions Rugby Company)
    15 Herbst Rhyno Injured Lock (Lions Rugby Company)
    16 Janse van Rensburg Rohan Centre (Lions Rugby Company)
    17 Jansen van Vuren Marco Scrumhalf (Lions Rugby Company)
    18 Jantjies Elton Thomas Flyhalf (Lions Rugby Company)
    19 Jonker Johannes Gideon Andries Prop (Lions Rugby Company)
    20 Kriel Jacobus Albertus Injured Loose Forward (Lions Rugby Company)
    21 Kruger Robert Albertus Lock (Lions Rugby Company)
    22 Mahuza Sylvian Fullback Utility (Lions Rugby Company)
    23 Mapoe Grenton Lionel Starlone Centre (Lions Rugby Company)
    24 Marx Malcolm Justin Hooker (Lions Rugby Company)
    25 Massyn Willem Leon Loose Forward (Lions Rugby Company)
    26 Meyer Christiaan Petrus Scrumhalf (Griquas Rugby Union)
    27 Mnisi Xolani Howard Centre (Lions Rugby Company)
    28 Mostert Francois John Lock (Lions Rugby Company)
    29 Orie Marvin Lock (Lions Rugby Company)
    30 Reynolds Shaun Fullback Utility (Lions Rugby Company)
    31 Schoeman Marnus Loose Forward (Mpumalanga Rugby Union)
    32 Sithole Sithembiso Mlundo Siphesile Prop (Lions Rugby Company)
    33 Skosan Courtnall DouglasInjured Wing (Lions Rugby Company)
    34 Smit Dillon Scrumhalf (Lions Rugby Company)
    35 Smith Albertus Stephanus Loose Forward (Lions Rugby Company)
    36 Smith Dylan Thomas Prop (Lions Rugby Company)
    37 Tambwe Madosha Michael Wing (Lions Rugby Company)
    38 Van Rooyen Jacques Prop (Lions Rugby Company)
    39 Vorster Harold William Centre (Lions Rugby Company)
    40 Whiteley Warren Loose Forward (Lions Rugby Company)

    The sun shone brightly on the young crop of Lions at Emirates Airline Park on Saturday as they put the Bulls to the sword.

    The final scoreline of 66-22 against the Bulls in their bright yellow Sundowns jersey tells the story. The Lions ran in ten tries, some of the after scintillating counter attacks in which the backs were stellar. The match started with Willie Engelbrecht opening the scoring and ended with Shaun Reynolds scoring a grand try. Reynolds made a big statement and his boot was on song converting tries in the corner with ease.

    • Picking a final squad just got a lot more difficult for head coach Swys de Bruin.
    • Wandisile Simelane bamboozled the Bulls in the run that set up the last try and Manny Rass was particularly sharp in the beginning.





    Golden Lions Rugby Union is used to making history and is at it again

    18 January 2018


    The Golden Lions Rugby Union is used to making history and is at it again. This time we are announcing the first ever official Women’s league, the Jozi Women Rugby League, that will kick off in April.

    It will be the first time in the Union’s long history that an official league for women will take place. Nine teams will compete for the first ever title of provincial women’s club champion.

    The league will kick-off with three friendly matches at the following three different venues in February:

    • 10 February: University of Johannesburg
    • 17 February: Pirates
    • 24 February: Soweto Eagles


    The GLRU Jozi Women Rugby League will kick off 6 April 2018.






    The Emirates Lions will host the Cell C Sharks at home at Emirates Airline Park on 17 February in the biggest local derby of the year when their Vodacom Super Rugby campaign kicks off for the 2018 season.

    This is followed by seven more exciting games before they take to the road for their first match on tour Down Under against the Waratahs on 20 April in Sydney.

    The last game before the play-offs is another biggie - on 14 July against the Vodacom Bulls at home at Emirates Airline Park.



    Triumphant England coach Eddie Jones visited Emirates Airline Park on Monday to do a recce for the test against South Africa later this year.

    Jones, who has a 23 and 1 winning record after taking the reigns at the RFU, has only lost a single away test to Ireland while at the helm of the Roses. He also helped England to victory over the Springboks for the first time since 2006. Lions Rugby Co CEO Rudolf Straeuli showed Jones around the Johannesburg Super Stadium.



    One of the Lions’ longest serving liaison officers, Chris Vermeulen, passed away on Monday, 8 January 2018.

    Mr. Vermeulen suffered from cancer and died at his house in Germiston.


    “Jonsson Workwear has been a proud partner of the Lions since our re-emittance in 2014 and we are so proud to extend this relationship for another two years."

    Edgar Rathbone, Managing Director of EPS Management

    “Jonsson Workwear and Lions Rugby share similar values - hard work, commitment and tenacity. We have sponsored the Lions since 2014, and look forward to another rewarding two years.”

    Nick Jonsson, CEO of Jonsson Workwear




    Jozi ‘backs’ new Emirates Lions 2018 Vodacom Super Rugby jersey

    The Lions Rugby Company (Pty) Ltd and Canterbury are proud to reveal the new strip for the 2018 Vodacom Super Rugby campaign.

     “The new jersey is a blend of traditional and modern with red and white hoops on the front and a modern design at the back which will again include the Johannesburg skyline, arguably the most beautiful skyline in South Africa.

     “We are very proud to be associated with the City of Johannesburg and we know they have our ‘backs’ so to speak,” said Edgar Rathbone, Managing Director of EPS Management.

    Rudolf Straeuli, CEO Lions Rugby Company (Pty) Ltd, thanked Canterbury for designing a state of the art jersey, not only in design, but also remaining innovative within the industry. “It is fantastic that we have kept our relationship with our sponsors that sees the jersey sponsors unchanged.

     “We are proud to announce that the jersey sponsors backing the 2018 Emirates Lions team are Emirates, Xerox, Bidvest, Canterbury, Jonsson Workwear, Fidelity-ADT, Hisense, 947 and Vox and we thank them for their continued support of Lions rugby,” Straeuli said.

    The jersey will again sport the Autism Blue Number on the back in support of the Els for Autism Foundation.




    Lions and Springbok player Malcolm Marx is the top candidate for the SA Rugby Player of the Year award but is in line for three SA Rugby awards, including Young Player of the Year and Super Rugby Player of the Year.


    Marx's Lions team mate Jaco Kriel, Springbok captain Eben Etzebeth, Siya Kolisi and Jan Serfontein are other candidates nominated for the top award.


    All three candidates for the Super Rugby Player of the Year award are Lions: Marx, Kriel and Franco Mostert while former Lions coach, Johan Ackermann, is again nominated for Coach of the Year, an award that he won the last two years.


    The Emirates Lions are nominated for Team of the Year but is up against the SA Sevens team as well as Western Province.


    The list of nominations are:

    Player of the Year

    1. Eben Etzebeth
    2. Siya Kolisi
    3. Jaco Kriel
    4. Malcolm Marx
    5. Jan Serfontein

    SA Rugby Young Player of the Year

    1. Curwin Bosch
    2. Jean-Luc du Preez
    3. Warrick Gelant
    4. Malcolm Marx
    5. Damian Willemse

    SA Rugby Team of the Year

    1. Emirates Lions (Vodacom Super Rugby runners up)
    2. Springbok Sevens (HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series winners)
    3. DHL Western Province (Currie Cup Premier Division and Supersport Rugby Challenge winners)

    Coach of the Year

    1. Johan Ackermann (Lions)
    2. John Dobson (WP)
    3. Neil Powell (Springbok Sevens)


    Steinhoff Springbok Sevens Player of the Year

    1. Chris Dry
    2. Werner Kok
    3. Rosko Specman

    Junior Springbok Player of the Year

    1. Juarno Augustus
    2. Curwin Bosch
    3. Damian Willemse

    SuperRugby Player of the Year

    1. Jaco Kriel (Leeus)
    2. Malcolm Marx (Leeus)
    3. Franco Mostert (Leeus)

    Currie Cup Player of the Year

    1. Nizaam Carr (WP)
    2. Robert du Preez (WP)
    3. Warrick Gelant (Blue Bulls)

    First Division Player of the Year

    1. Jaun Kotze (Griffons)
    2. Tertius Maarman (Griffons)
    3. Jeandré Rudolph (Leopards)


    SuperSport Challenge Player of the Year

    1. Craig Barry (WP)
    2. Enver Brandt (Griquas)
    3. Shaun Reynolds (Golden Lions)


    • Head Coach: Swys de Bruin
    • Forwards: Philip Lemmer
    • Breakdown and Backline: Joey Mongalo
    • Head of Strength & Conditioning: Ivan van Rooyen
    • Manager: Mustapha Boomgaard
    • Assistant Manager: Johane Singwane
    • Head Physician:  Dr Rob Collins
    • Physiotherapist: Preven Appalsamy
    • Massage Therapist: Ram Mpila
    • Kicking & Skills (HP Coach): Neil de Bruin
    • Video Analyst: Wynand Ellis


    • Head Coach: Herkie Kruger
    • Forwards: Bart Schoeman
    • Defence: Bafana Nhleko
    • Strength and Conditioning: Rupert Oberholster
    • Manager: MJ Rabodiba
    • Head Physician: Dr Anri van Tonder
    • Physiotherapist: Pam Watts
    • Massage Therapist: Leoni Bosch/Carol Dickson

    CURRIE CUP [1 August – 1 November]

    • Head Coach: Swys de Bruin
    • Forwards: Philip Lemmer
    • Backline: Herkie Kruger
    • Head of Strength & Conditioning: Ivan van Rooyen
    • Manager: Mustapha Boomgaard
    • Assistant Manager: Johane Singwane
    • Head Physician: Dr Rob Collins
    • Physiotherapist: Preven Appalsamy
    • Massage Therapist: Ram Mpila

    UNDER 21

    • Head Coach: Joey Mongalo
    • Forwards: Bart Schoeman
    • Attack: Neil de Bruin
    • Strength and Conditioning: Rupert Oberholster
    • Manager: MJ Rabodiba
    • Head Physician: Dr Anri van Tonder
    • Physiotherapist: Pam Watts
    • Biokineticist: Armandt Olivier

    UNDER 19

    • Head Coach: Wessel Roux
    • Attack and Backs: Bafana Nhleko
    • Defence: Mziwakhe Nkosi
    • Strength and Conditioning: Stefan van Deventer
    • Manager: Tokkie Mtsweni
    • Head Physician: Dr Anri van Tonder
    • Physiotherapist: Hene Branders
    • Biokineticist: Armandt Olivier


    • Manager: Bart Schoeman
    • Recruitment & Mentorship: Bafana Nhleko
    • Recruitment: Mziwakhe Nkosi
    • Coach: Neil de Bruin
    • Player Relations & XEROX Lions Leaning HUB: Julian Redelinghuys


    As per previous years, consultants will be advising throughout the year.



    Swys de Bruin was part of the successful Emirates Lions sides that played in the Vodacom Super Rugby finals in 2016 and 2017. De Bruin comes with a wealth of experience.

    He began his professional rugby career at The Sharks in 1996, where he was appointed as the Coaching Co-ordinator. In 1997 he steered the Sharks u21 side to National Champs success as Head Coach. He was also the Head Coach of the Wildebeest side in 1998. De Bruin was Head Coach at the Griquas from 1999 to 2003.

    In 2001 he was in charge of the SA under 21 side that took part in the Junior World Championship. De Bruin was involved in the Sharks Academy in 2004, when he was appointed Head Coach. He also assisted The Sharks senior squad as Super XV Skills Coach during this time. He coached the Sharks XV, Sharks u21 and Sharks u19 sides between 2005 and 2011.

    In 2012, De Bruin worked as the High Performance coach at The Sharks. He joined the Lions in 2013 as assistant coach for Super Rugby and Currie Cup and together with head coach Johan Ackermann orchestrated the re-emergence of the Lions as one of the op rugby forces in Super Rugby. He is widely acknowledged as the brains behind the Lions’ superb attacking play that has seen them reinvent themselves as a free-scoring team.

    "I am very excited about the prospect for the future and working with exciting home grown coaches that are part of the coaching structures for the Lions".


    The former prop started his coaching career in 2010 when he joined the University of Johannesburg as Head Coach of their Under 21 side. During his two years as junior coach at UJ he was responsible for talent identification and recruitment of junior players. He was also in charge of the Valke Craven Week forwards and coach of the UJ Young Guns (under 20).

    Between 2013 and 2014 he was head coach of the Valke Craven Week team and the Boksburg Rugby Club first team during the Community Cup. In 2015 he was forwards coach of the UJ Varsity Cup side as well as the victorious USSA and league winners. During 2016 and 2017 he coached UJ (Varsity Cup) and the Lions under 19 forwards. This team became the first under 19 side to successfully defend their national title.


    The former Blue Bulls rugby player (centre, scrum-half) started his formal career in rugby as marketing assistant for the Blue Bulls Rugby Company. He joined the Lions as a full-time coach in 2011 when he was appointed as the defence coach for the Under 19 team, the same year this team won the national league.

    From 2012-2016 Mongalo was part of the coaching staff of the under 19, under 21 and Vodacom Cup teams at the Lions as defence coach. In between he coached the Wits University Varsity Shield (2012) and Varsity Cup teams as backline and defence coach.

    In 2016 he was defence coach for the Junior Springboks at the Junior World Championships in France. The Lions under 19 side was crowned nationals champions in 2016 and 2017 with Mongalo as head coach. He also acted as Lions Currie Cup breakdown and skills coach. Another feather in his coaching cap was being Finalist of the Coach of the Year Gauteng Sports Awards.


    Ivan ‘Cash’ van Rooyen joined the Lions in 2009 after hanging up his boots as a player (Lions juniors, Lions sevens, Valke Currie Cup). The sport scientist worked with the junior sides and Vodacom Cup until 2011 and also assisted Wayne Taylor with the Super Rugby and senior Currie Cup sides. He became head of Strength and Conditioning in 2012 and still holds this position.

    The Lions continued success since 2014 and subsequent Vodacom Super Rugby finals in 2016 and 2017 was also due to the high level of fitness installed by Van Rooyen. During his time at the Lions the union have delivered 17 Springboks through their ranks.


    His playing career as a fly-half spans almost 15 years across a broad spectrum of teams in SA, including the Free State, Natal, Griquas and the Lions where he ended on a high note in 2010 at Super 14 level. His coaching career officially started with the University of Johannesburg where he assisted with the Varsity Cup side from 2011-2013.

    The Lions appointed him in 2012 to assist with the under 21 and Vodacom sides. His duties as assistant spilled over to 2016 and in 2017 he was appointed as head coach of the under 21 team. This team was crowned national under 21 champions in 2016 and reached the semi-finals in 2017.


    Former Springbok prop Roux started out his coaching career in 2009 with the province he represented as a player, the Bulls, where he was appointed as the scrum coach to the junior teams. This was followed up with stints as scrum coach at the University of Pretoria’s Varsity Cup sides (2011-2013), forwards coach of the Young Guns (2012-2015) and scrum coach to the Bulls Super Rugby team (2013-2015).

    He joined the Lions in 2016 as forwards coach and was part of the under 21, Currie Cup Qualifier and Supersport Challenge teams. The under 21’s were crowned national champions in 2016 and reached the semi-finals in 2017.


    Nkosi will join the Lions in 2018 and his role will be two-fold: firstly as a recruitment officer and secondly as the defence coach to the under 19 team. He already sports some impressive bullets on his rugby coaching CV: King Edward VII School (KES) head coach, under 18 Golden Lions Craven Week and SA Schools assistant coach.

    Nkosi is a young coach, and law student, who has played a major role in the emergence of King Edward VII School as a big role player in schools rugby in Gauteng where he holds the position as Director of Coaching. He may only be 27 but he’s been deeply involved with rugby at KES from Grade 8 through to matric where he played alongside Scarra Ntubeni in 2009. He was also part of the coaching staff that guided the Golden Lions Under-18 side to the 2016 and 2017 Craven Week finals.


    Boomgaard has a wealth of experience in rugby administration spanning more than 20 years since he first acted as general secretary for the former TIRFU Raiders in 1994. He acted as team manager and club manager for Raiders Rugby Club until 2008 when he was appointed as senior team manager for the Lions Currie Cup. In 2009 he started his stint as team manager of the Super Rugby side as well and has worked with the senior team since then. His list of accomplishments include six Currie Cup semi-finals, three Currie Cup finals and two Super Rugby finals.


    Dr Collins has a vast background in sports medicine after completing his MSc in Sports Medicine in 2006. He joined the Lions in 2010 as the senior team physician for the Super Rugby and Currie Cup senior teams and head of medical services. He is a member of SA Institute for Drug free sport disciplinary tribunal since 2011 and has a private practice at Rosebank Centre for Sports Medicine & Orthopedics.


    Ellis was appointed as Head Performance Analyst for the Lions in 2017. His role is implementing the union’s High Performance programs. Before joining the Lions he was technical advisor and academy coach at the Cheetahs where he worked with all the Free State teams.



    Bart Schoeman is the Manager of the Lions High Performance but also sports an impressive coaching CV. He plied his trade in Blue Bulls country where he was head coach of their Craven Week and Academy Week sides in 1999 and 2000 and again in 2010/2011. He joined the Lions in 2013 as head of recruitment and contracting and that year also coached their under 19 side to the final.

    Schoeman was part of the under 19 coaching staff that successfully defended their national title this year. The success of the junior teams at the Lions in recent is largely due to the sterling work Schoeman has been doing as part of the unions’ recruitment strategy.


    Neil de Bruin is the coach of the High Performance at the Lions since 2015. Before that he was based in Potchefstroom where he was backline and attack coach for the Leopards and NWU Puk Varsity Cup side. Since joining the Lions he has worked with position specific skills development for all the Lions teams and developed and established a high performance programme for the union. As head coach of the Lions under 19 side in 2017 he was instrumental in this team’s successful defence of their national crown.


    The Lions Rugby Company and players, Nicolaas Hanekom and Justin Ackerman, have agreed to mutually part ways. We wish the Players all the best in their future endeavors and thank them for their service to Lions Rugby over the years.

    JP Ferreira is currently in negotiations with Munster. His contract with the Lions Rugby Company expires in October 2018.



    The Lions Rugby Company (Pty) Ltd. has acquired the services of Griqua scrumhalf Christiaan Meyer on loan for the 2018 Super Rugby season.

    More acquisition will be announced in the coming weeks.

    All teams are currently on break and will return mid-November to begin Super Rugby preparation. Lions Rugby Company (Pty) Ltd. thanks all its loyal supporters for their ongoing support through the season.

    The Lions Rugby Company is very proud of their Under 19 side that successfully defended their provincial title. They beat the Free State 55-24 in the final at Growthpoint Kings Park (Durban) last weekend. Their tally of 104 tries for the season is a proud achievement. Find attached the team picture of the Xerox Golden Lions Under 19 side.

    The following players have come to the end of their contract with the Lions Rugby Company (Pty) Ltd. Rudolf Straeuli CEO of Lions Rugby Company wishes all these players the very best for their future endeavours.

    • Adre Smit
    • Bader Pretorius
    • Barend Smith
    • Curtis Jonas
    • Divan Henning
    • Fabian Booyen
    • Gerdus van der Walt
    • Gideon Botha
    • Jaco van der Walt
    • Jacobus Tredoux
    • JP du Preez
    • Le Roux Baard
    • Lincoln Daniels
    • MC de Jongh
    • Morney Moos
    • Rheyno Potgieter
    • Runan Venter
    • Wihan Jacobs


    The Xerox Golden Lions under 19 side will defend their provincial title in Durban on Saturday against the Free State Cheetahs.

    The Lions under 19 side won the title against Western Province 60-19 last year.

    Consistency has been perhaps the Cubs’ biggest ally with record breaking tries and an average of 49,61 points per game this season.

    The Lions Rugby Company is proud of their juniors’ success and wish them all the best.

    Xerox Golden Lions Under 19 team to play against Free State Under 19 (28 October 2017, 11:00):

    1. Nathan Mcbeth
    2. P.J Botha
    3. Cohen Kiewit
    4. P.J Steenkamp
    5. Ruan Vermaak
    6. Mark Snyman
    7. Vincent Tshituka
    8. Dian Schoonees
    9. Jack Hart
    10. Gianni Lombard
    11. Wandisile Simelane
    12. Louritz van der Schyff
    13. Manuel Rass
    14. Tatendaishe Mujawo
    15. Tyrone Green
    16. Tiaan van der Merwe
    17. Kayden Kiewit
    18. Arno van Wyk
    19. Darrien Landsberg
    20. Travis Gordon
    21. Khanya Ncusane
    22. Austin Davids
    23. Shaun Williams


    Three Springboks have been included in the Xerox Golden Lions starting XV for the Currie Cup clash with the Toyota Cheetahs at Emirates Airline Park on Saturday 14 October with one on the bench.

    Ross Cronjé, Courtnall Skosan and Andries Coetzee will make their first appearances in this years’ Currie Cup while Malcolm Marx has been included on the bench.

    In other changes Robbie Coetzee starts at hooker and Jacobie Adriaanse returns after a stomach bug kept him out of action last week.

    Jaco van der Walt moves to flyhalf and Aphiwe Dyantyi from right to left wing

    Kick-off is at 17:15 and ticket prices start at R20.

    1. Jacques van Rooyen
    2. Robbie Coetzee
    3. Jacobie Adriaanse
    4. Andries Ferreira
    5. Marvin Orie
    6. Len Massyn
    7. Cyle Brink
    8. Kwagga Smith
    9. Ross Cronje
    10. Jaco van der Walt
    11. Courtnall Skosan
    12. Harold Vorster
    13. Rohan Janse van Rensburg
    14. Aphiwe Dyantyi
    15. Andries Coetzee
    16. Malcolm Marx
    17. Dylan Smith
    18. Rhyno Herbst
    19. Robert Kruger/ Hacjivah Dayimani
    20. Marco Jansen van Vuren
    21. Ashlon Davids
    22. Sylvian Mahuza


    An unexpected call from the LIONS rugby team’s Rudolf Straeuli, CEO of the Lions Rugby Company, to Water Shortage South Africas’ CEO, Benoit Le Roy earlier this week offering the LIONS franchise full support in getting water to the WC was welcomed with open arms.

     Water Shortage SA is a non-profit organisation started two years ago to facilitate the supply of drinking water to desperate communities in the country.

     Since its inception their dedicated volunteers have moved over 67 million litres of donated water to parched communities all over South Africa.

     “Rudolf and his  team are making a very significant commitment to sending bottled water collected from the Lions rugby supporters to the Stormers supporters in Cape Town” said Le Roy from Cape Town yesterday (Thursday).

     Everybody in the Gauteng area is  encouraged  to drop bottles of water collected by families, schools, community organisations and the like at the Ellis Park stadium. The water will then be delivered by the dedicated  volunteers of Water Shortage SA to communities without water.

     “Cape Town is likely to become the first city in the world to run out of water completely – it is not a crisis it is a catastrophe and we welcome the Lions initiative” said media spokesman Ray de Vries.

     “Our organisation is pleading with South Africans to open their hearts and help us collect as much water as possible so that we can store up for day zero which could  be any time from December” said de  Vries in Johannesburg on a sponsorship drive.

     Lions fans have been asked to  bring water for dropping off at the stadium tomorrow before the game as well as during the week during office hours.

     “We appeal to corporate South Africa to get involved by donating funds to Water Shortage SA to help with the costs of transporting and distributing the water to communities.


Tel (011) 402-2960