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The CEO of Lions Rugby Company Rudolf Straeuli is proud to announce the new coaching structures for 2018.



Swys de Bruin Head Coach of the Lions Rugby franchise is 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 full 2018 structures is as follows:

Super Rugby

  • 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

SuperSport Challenge

  • 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
  • 1 August – 1 November

Currie Cup

  • 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

High Performance

  • 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

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.

Philip Lemmer

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.

Joey Mongalo

The former Blue Bulls rugby player (centre, scrumhalf) started his formal career in rugby as marketing assistant for the Blue Bulls Rugby Company.

He joined the Lions as a fulltime 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.

Herkie Kruger

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.

Wessel Roux

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.

Mziwakhe Nkosi

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.

Mustapha Boomgaard

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.

Wynand Ellis

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

Bart Schoeman

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

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.