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
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
SuperSport Rugby Challenge Fixtures
(please note most venues and kickoff times are still to be confirmed)
Sat 21 April
Sunday 22 April
Triple-header Rugby Festival at Wolfson Stadium, Kwazakhele (live on SS10)
Saturday 28 April
Saturday 5 May
Saturday 12 May
Sunday 13 May
Triple-header Rugby Festival Impala Rugby Club, Rustenburg (live on SS10)
Saturday 19 May
Sunday 20 May
Triple-header Rugby Festival at Bridgton Sports Ground, Oudtshoorn (live on SS10)
Saturday 26 May
Saturday 2 June
Saturday 9 June
Saturday 16 June
Sunday 17 June
Triple-header Rugby Festival at Sisa Dukashe Stadium, Mdantsane (live on SS10)
Saturday 23 June
Sunday 24 June
Triple-header Rugby Festival at Bill Jardine Stadium, Longdale, Johannesburg (live on SS10)
Saturday 30 June / Sunday 1 July – venues TBC
Sunday 8 July – venue TBC
Sunday 15 July – venue TBC
Source: André Bester - 061 400 4883
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
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.
|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
|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)|
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:
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.
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
SA Rugby Young Player of the Year
SA Rugby Team of the Year
Coach of the Year
Steinhoff Springbok Sevens Player of the Year
Junior Springbok Player of the Year
SuperRugby Player of the Year
Currie Cup Player of the Year
First Division Player of the Year
SuperSport Challenge Player of the Year
CURRIE CUP [1 August – 1 November]
As per previous years, consultants will be advising throughout the year.
CV’s OF ALL OUR COACHES FOR 2018
SWYS DE BRUIN
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 VAN ROOYEN
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. ROB COLLINS
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.
>>> HIGH PERFORMANCE COACHES <<<
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.
NELL DE BRUIN
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.
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):
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.
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.
Emirates Lions take on the Waratahs in the Vodacom Super Rugby semi-final
26 July 2018
Harold Vorster will run out in his 50th Vodacom Super Rugby game when the Emirates Lions host the Waratahs in the Vodacom Super Rugby semi-final at Emirates Airline Park on Saturday, 28 July 2018.
He made his VSR debut in 2015. He will be joining the Panasonic Wild Knights for the Currie Cup season.
Lourens Erasmus starts at flank in the place of Cyle Brink who could not recover from a stinger to his right arm he sustained in the game against the Jaguares last weekend.
Kick-off is at 15:05. View the team sheet now.
The Emirates Lions secured a home Vodacom Super Rugby semi-final for the third successive year after defeating the Jaguares 40-23 in Johannesburg on Saturday.
Successive Nicolas Sanchez penalties had given the Argentinians an early 6-0 buffer, but Swys de Bruin’s outfit soon showed why they have reached the show piece event over the past two seasons and they responded with 24 unanswered points.
Ruan Combrinck, Harold Vorster and Malcolm Marx all crossed the whitewash to open up a seemingly comfortable 24-6 advantage.
An Elton Jantjies three-pointer was sandwiched in between those scores before Andries Coetzee’s try effectively completed the win before it was rubber stamped by the fly-half, who added six more points from the tee.
The Jaguares began brightly, putting the home side under pressure and earning two penalty opportunities, which Sanchez converted for a 6-0 lead.
Back came De Bruin’s outfit, however, dominating the scrum battle and placing the visiting forwards under significant duress.
Jantjies converted and then added a second when the kicking game once again played havoc with the opposition. Having started on the front foot, the Argentinians were now regularly being sent into reverse gear, but they were not helping themselves.
Ledesma’s charges continued to make mistakes and one such error saw Marx intercept a stray Gonzalo Bertranou pass and cross the whitewash for the third try.
The Jaguares did regain their composure with Sanchez scoring another three-pointer just shy of the interval before they got themselves back into the contest at the start of the second period.
De Bruin’s side displayed all their experience, however, and retained possession impressively. Replacement Marnus Schoeman carried well and Coetzee was the one to benefit from the back-row’s efforts, crossing the line by the left-hand upright.
Although the visitors attempted to get back into the contest, the Lions’ defence was too strong and Jantjies sealed their progress into the last four with a drop-goal and penalty.
SCORERS FOR THE LIONS
Tries: Combrinck, Vorster, Marx, Coetzee
Conversions: Jantjies 4
See the Seating Plan for the Semi-Final alongside
If the Lions win their quarter-final against the Jaguares next Saturday, they will host a semi-final at Emirates Airline Park. Tickets for the quarter-final went on sale after the game. Ticket prices start at R60.00 and are available at the stadium or online at lionsrugby.coza and Computicket.
Six Springboks will run out for the Xerox Golden Lions VX at the Bill Jardine Stadium in Longdale on Sunday 24 June 2018 to face the Vodacom Blue Bulls in one of three exciting clashes of the day.
This day is supported by Gauteng Government Sports and Recreation and forms part of the Premier's Social Cohesion Games and aims to bring Rugby and sport to all communities.
"After a break in Vodacom Super Rugby for the International series we welcome the opportunity to give our Super Rugby players game time and to ensure our preparation is on track. Our Junior Boks are back in training and we have opted to rest them to ensure their availability next week. Warren and Malcolm are back from injury and this is an ideal opportunity to get them back on the field. They will be joined by fellow Springboks Courtnall Skosan, Lionel Mapoe and Ross Cronjé," said Rudolf Straeuli, CEO of the Lions Rugby Company.
Straeuli added "the Bill Jardine Stadium is rich in Rugby history and plays an important role in Lions and GLRU family and thank them for hosting this community based festival".
The Lions' SuperSport Challenge coach, Herkie Kruger, will be supported by the Emirates Lions Super Rugby Management.
The Lions look forward to hosting three consecutive games on Saturday afternoons (Vodacom Bulls, Jaguares and Rebels) early in the season.
Edgar Rathbone, Managing Director of EPS (Pty) Ltd. said he was very happy with the six Saturday afternoon fixtures allocated to the Emirates Airline Park "Saturday afternoons are the perfect time to watch rugby in South Africa. We aim to ensure our supporters the very best experience and look forward to increasing the value behind the experience," Rathbone commented.
Group CEO Rudolf Straeuli welcomed the new fixture list for 2019. "The fixtures are competitive and will bring the best out of the teams due to the depth required and the limited time frame due to the World Cup. We are happy with draw and look forward to a great season".
EMIRATES LIONS MATCH SCHEDULE
16 Feb - Jaguares vs Emirates Lions 23:40
23 Feb - Stormers vs Emirates Lions 17:15
2 Mar - Emirates Lions vs Vodacom Bulls 15:05
9 Mar - Emirates Lions vs Jaguares 15:05
16 Mar - Emirates Lions vs Rebels 15:05
23 Mar - Sunwolves vs Emirates Lions 12:55
30 Mar - Emirates Lions Bye
5 Apr - Emirates Lions vs Cell C Sharks 19:10
13 Apr - Brumbies vs Emirates Lions 11:45
19 Apr - Chiefs vs Emirates Lions 09:35
26 Apr - Crusaders vs Emirates Lions 09:35
4 May - Bye
11 May - Emirates Lions vs Waratahs 15:05
18 May - Emirates Lions vs Highlanders 15:05
25 May - Cell C Sharks vs Emirates Lions 17:15
1 Jun - Emirates Lions vs DHL Stormers 17:15
8 Jun - Emirates Lions vs Hurricanes 15:05
The game will be played at Wits University.
Victory for iCollege Pumas
The iCOLLEGE Pumas scored a last second 43-35 victory over the Xerox Golden Lions in Nelspruit's Mbombela Stadium on Saturday.
Lions let it slip in Nelspruit. The Lions clawed their way back within one point with a Marco Jansen van Vuren try in the 80th minute.
With time expired the Lions ran the ball from the last kick-off but a mistake under pressure let Wayno Visagie in to score for the Pumas to settle matters. Lions prop Sti Sithole opened the scoring with a try under the sticks.
The Pumas pulled the score back to 7-all with an intercept try by scrumhalf Stefan Ungerer.
The Pumas scrumhalf is perhaps the best number nine in the country and he set op a spectacular try with a perfect up-and-under for Willie Engelbrecht. Lock Stefan Willemseí try gave the Pumas a 14-7 lead before Gerrit Smit had a great run-in for their third.
A perfect cross kick by Shaun Reynolds set up a try for Jan Louis la Grange and the teams went into the shed with the Pumas leading 21-14. His centre partner Wayne van der Bank was next to score and the score was locked at 21-all.
The Pumas pulled away with Frankie Herne involved in both tries, first at the back of a maul and then on a run in open field to put Engelbrecht away. The Lions never gave up and they came within a whisker before they committed hara-kiri at the end.
The Xerox Golden Lions travel to Nelspruit to face the iCollege Pumas in the SuperSport Challenge on Saturday with Ashlon Davids who will wear the number nine jersey with Shaun Reynolds at number ten. Rhyno Herbst is back to lead the side.
Xerox Golden Lions fylhalf Shaun Reynolds was the cream of the crop after scoring an impressive 27 points in the SuperSport Rugby Challenge game against Hino Valke in Kempton Park on Saturday. Our boys in white and black demolished the Valke 68-12.
Reynolds scored a hat-trick and six conversions to prove that there is perhaps life after Elton Jantjies.
Two other Lions scored braces in this point festival.
Winger Jan-Louis la Grange and loose-forward James Venter both helped themselves to two tries each.
Robert Krugerís side finished the fixture with a dozen tries.
Saturday, 5 May @09h30 (SA Time)
Marnus Schoeman gets his first start for the Emirates Lions when they run out against the Hurricanes in Wellington on Saturday.
Having made an immediate impact from the bench against the Reds last weekend, the fiery flanker, will wear number six. Kwagga Smith will move to number eight while Cyle Brink comes it at seven flanker.
Captain Franco Mostert moves back to the lock position where he will partner with Lourens Erasmus. In the front row rotation Dylan Smith and Jacobie Adriaanse both get a start.
A total of twelve Lions players have been included in the final Junior Springbok squad that was announced to participate in the World Rugby Under 20 Championship which takes place from 30 May to 17 June in France:
"This is a talented squad with solid international experience, and we are confident in their abilities," said Roux.
"We had to make a few tough calls, especially after the matches against Georgia, but we believe we have a squad worthy of competing against the best U20 teams in the world. One can never underestimate the value of playing international rugby at any level, so we are pleased that most of the players have worn the green and gold before for both the Junior Springboks and the SA Schools sides."
The Junior Springboks will continue their preparations for the World Rugby U20 Championship with a three-match tour to the UK, following their 48-23 and 55-14 victories against Georgia, who they will face in their opening pool match at the World Rugby U20 Championship.
The SA U20s will meet Scotland in Edinburgh on Friday May 4, Wales in Cardiff on Tuesday May 8, and England in London on Friday May 11 on tour. They depart for the UK this evening.
The team has been drawn in Pool C at the World Rugby U20 Championship, alongside Georgia, Ireland and France.
Lions Rugby Company (Pty) Ltd can confirm Jaco Kriel has committed to a contract with UK based Gloucester.
Jaco has unfortunately been plagued with injuries stemming from 2017’s International duty and has therefore not been able to play for the Emirates Lions this current season.
We are always sad to lose a player but to lose a player of this stature hurts the Franchise and the Industry.
We wish Jaco a speedy recovery and rehabilitation and hope to see him applying his trade back in South Africa in the future.
A motivated Reds side managed to upset the Emirate Lions 27-22 in a Vodacom Super Rugby match in Brisbane on Saturday and set up the Lions’ first defeat on their tour.
The Reds produced a smothering defensive effort in the first half that threw the Lions out of their stride and produced errors that the Reds made the most of.
The Lions did show their pedigree by fighting back well after half-time and they scored 22 unanswered points in the last 36 minutes of the game, to grab a deserved and possibly crucial losing bonus point.
It was a brave fightback from the Lions but it was too little too late.
Malcolm Marx was massive, even in defeat, and scored the first two tries for the Lions in their fightback in the second half.
Both those tries were scored halfway through a period when the Lions looked like they might be coming back into the game with their irresistible driving play.
It was a massive mountain for the Lions to climb from there and they nearly conquered it, but in truth their chances of winning were blown when the Reds experienced a bit of a second win immediately after the second Marx try on the hour mark. It saw the Lions take another 17 minutes before Manus Schoeman touched down their next try.
By this time, with just three minutes left, the losing bonus point was all they had left to play for.
That they were able to get over the line one more time, with Schoeman again the man to dot down, underlined the quality of the Johannesburg team. They will feel though that this was a game where they fluffed their lines.
Emirates Lions: Tries: Malcolm Marx (2), Manus Schoeman (2).
The Emirates Lions kicked off their Vodacom Super Rugby tour to Australisia with a win against the Waratahs in Sydney on Friday evening.
They also became the first team this season to keep the ‘Tahs scoreless, securing a victorious 29-0.
Franco Mostert and his team were greatly tested by the Waratahs in the opening quarter, but their resolute defence kept Michael Hooper’s men scoreless.
They showed their class when Madosh Tambwe broke their line with a beautiful team try, which put them 7-0 in the lead at the break.
After half time the team were fired up, and two quick tries from Kwagga Smith and Harold Vorster left the ‘Tahs floundering.
In the 77th minute, with emotions running high, Marnus Schoeman saw a gap and broke away to score the fourth try of the game. Jantjies converted to the delight of the team and fans worldwide. The final whistle went, ending the game at 29-0.
Tries: Madosh Tambwe, Kwagga Smith, Harold Vorster, Marnus Schoeman.
Conversions: Elton Jantjies (3). Penalty: Jantjies.
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.
2018 NEWS ARCHIVE