Lions name contracted list
Johannesburg - The Golden Lions Rugby Union (GLRU) has announced its new contracted player list for the 2015 season.
While financial constraints remain a challenge for the Lions, retaining talent remains their main priority. This is not unheard of as all South African unions have suffered financial constraints and must content with increasing pressure from the lucrative European and Japanese markets.
With the GLRU not yet covered by a title sponsor, the union has secured the input of several valuable partners to assist in the procurement process. Through building stronger relationships with stakeholders, the Lions put on a record-breaking Super Rugby showing, after the franchise’s return to top flight competition in 2014.
They finished the Super Rugby season in 12th spot
, but surprised many pundits with their seven victories, capped by a 60-25 thrashing of the Cheetahs last weekend.
An established buy-in value system from coaching staff, players and management has seen the Lions secure the services of both top-class experienced and up-and-coming playersSENIOR PLAYERSVia their official website, the Lions unveiled the following contracted players for the 2015 season:
JP du Plessis
Schalk van der Merwe
Schalk van Heerden (new signing)
Jacques van Rooyen
Armand van der Merwe (new signing)
All current Under-21 players and the players from other unions are not all included in this list due to on-going negotiations. The following SA Under-20 players will also remain part of the Golden Lions:
Ramone SamuelsJUNIOR PLAYERS
The Lions also secured and recruited top junior players for 2015.Players from the GLRU region:
Juan Lemmer (Eighthman - HS Monument - Lions Cravenweek 2014)
Gavin Delport (Flanker - HS Monument - Lions Cravenweek 2014 Captain)
Vean Roodt (Hooker - HS Monument - Blue Bulls Cravenweek 2013) (U/20 in 2015)
Tshepo Thulo (Centre - Jeppe Boys High - Lions Cravenweek 2013 and 2014The GLRU is currently in negotiations with and will look to sign the following junior players from outside the GLRU region:
Sarel Smit (Prop - HS Eldoraigne - Bulls Craven Week 2014)
Marco van Vuuren (Scrumhalf - SA Schools 2013 - Falcons Craven Week 2014; SA Schools Sevens 2014)
Le Roux Roets (Lock - HS Garsfontein) (U/20 in 2015)
Ruan Ackermann (Flanker - HS Garsfontein) (U/20 in 2015)
Le Roux Baard (Hooker - HS Outeniqua - SWD Craven Week Captain 2013 and 2014)
Anton Smith (Lock - HS Outeniqua - SWD Craven Week 2013 and 2014)
Kenny van Niekerk (Prop - Glenwood High - Craven Week Sharks 2014)
Driaan Bester (Lock/flanker - HTS Middelburg - Craven Week Pumas 2014)
Koos Tredoux (Prop - Glenwood High - Craven Week Sharks 2013 & 2014)
Hendrik Mulder (Flyhalf - HS Centurion - Academy Week - Bulls 2014)
Jo-Hanko de Villiers (Eighthman - HS Eldoraigne - Bulls U/19 – 2014)
Wynand Botha (Scrumhalf - HS Eldoraigne - 2014)
Basil Polydorou (Hooker - HS Waterkloof - 2014)
Martin van Wyk (Fullback - HS EG Jansen - 2014 - Craven Week Falcons 2014)