Lions look fit for new season
Cape Town - The Lions look set to start the new season injury-free as they attempt to emulate their Currie Cup success in Super Rugby.
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The Beeld newspaper reports that he Johannesburg-based outfit starting their pre-season fitness and conditioning at the Johannesburg Stadium on Thursday.
The Lions will play three warm-up matches before their Super Rugby campaign kicks off. They play the Stormers (January 27) and the Sharks (January 31) in the Neo Africa Tri-Series in Cape Town before travelling to George to take on the Kings in a friendly on February 15.
And as things currently stand, they will start the new season without any injuries.
Springbok prop CJ van der Linde recently underwent a groin operation, but it won't keep him out of action. Centre Waylon Murray and wing Lionel Mapoe, who were both injured in the Currie Cup, will also be ready for the new season. They are all part of the training group which will train with fitness and conditioning coach, Wayne Taylor, until December 16. They will then break for the festive season and regroup early in January.
Several newcomers to the squad, including the halfback twin brothers, Ross and Guy Cronjé from the Sharks and Griquas lock Hendrik Roodt, trained with their new team-mates on Thursday.
The Lions' Springboks - Van der Linde, Bandise Maku, Wikus van Heerden, Elton Jantjies, Butch James and Murray - were also all present at the session.
Burton Francis, George Earle, Tonderai Chavhanga, Dusty Noble, David de Villiers, JP Joubert, Pieter Engelbrecht, Marius Delport and David Bulbring are the players who were not offered new contracts.