Currie Cup

Lions centre set for dream debut

2015-09-11 15:17
Rohan Janse van Rensburg in action for the Golden Lions Under-21 side (Gallo Images)

Johannesburg - Golden Lions centre Rohan Janse van Rensburg is set to make his Currie Cup debut during his birthday weekend against his former team, the Blue Bulls, on Saturday. 

The match has already been dubbed the “match of the tournament” as both teams are undefeated after five rounds. They have also displayed impressive attacking rugby throughout the domestic campaign, with the Bulls (24) and Lions (23) scoring 47 tries collectively so far.

The team who wins will earn the lead on the Currie Cup table, which will be a big boost towards claiming home-ground advantage for the playoffs.

Janse van Rensburg, who is a Waterkloof old boy, started his career in Pretoria, where he played for he played for the Bulls at Under-19, Under-21 and Vodacom Cup level in 2014 and 2015. He then made the switch to the Lions.

His recent performances for the Lions Under-21s have earned him his senior opportunity this weekend. He also celebrates his 21st birthday on Friday.

“It can’t get any better than this. Making my Currie Cup debut for the Lions during my birthday weekend and playing against the Bulls at Loftus… you can’t script it better than that!” Janse van Rensburg told MyPlayers.co.za.

“Getting my opportunity this weekend is a massive privilege and I want to make the most of the opportunity. Coach Akkers (Johan Ackermann) and coach Swys (Venter) told me they were happy with the way I’ve been playing, and they just want me to go out there and play my natural game.

“I’m enjoying life at the Lions. There’s a great family environment, which has helped me to settle in very well. All the players have been very welcoming, especially guys like Jaco Kriel, Andries Coetzee, Robbie Coetzee, Ruan Combrinck and Ross Cronje.”

Janse van Rensburg believes the Bulls will be a big challenge on Saturday.

“The fans can expect a highly entertaining game because I think both teams are going to play exciting running rugby,” he said. “The Bulls have really surprised many people this season as they have reverted from the tactical and structured game plan everyone is used to. And they’re doing very well with ball in hand.

“Bulls coach Nollis Marias deserves a lot of credit. I worked with him during my time at the Bulls. He’s a very good coach, who works hard.

“I’m excited to play against some of my mates and players who I looked up to. It’s definitely going to be a good experience.”

Janse van Rensburg also thanked friends and family for the support this week.

“I got many birthday wishes, but also well wishes for the big game this weekend. My friends and family are really excited that I’m getting my big opportunity, and I hope to make everyone proud.”

Teams:

Blue Bulls:

15 Warrick Gelant, 14 Travis Ismaiel, 13 Dries Swanepoel, 12 Jan Serfontein, 11 Jamba Ulengo, 10 Tian Schoeman, 9 Francois Hougaard, 8 Arno Botha, 7 Lappies Labuschagne (captain), 6 Roelof Smit, 5 Marvin Orie, 4 Jacques du Plessis, 3 Marcel van der Merwe, 2 Bandise Maku, 1 Dean Greyling

Substitutes: 16 Jaco Visagie, 17 Werner Kruger, 18 RG Snyman, 19 Deon Stegmann, 20 Ivan van Zyl, 21 Louis Fouché, 22 Burger Odendaal

Golden Lions:

15. Andries Coetzee, 14. Ruan Combrinck, 13. Stokkies Hanekom, 12. Howard Mnisi, 11. Courtnall Skosan, 10. Marnitz Boshoff, 9. Ross Cronje, 8. Fabian Booysen, 7. Stephan de Witt, 6. Jaco Kriel (captain), 5. Franco Mostert, 4. Martin Muller, 3. Ruan Dreyer, 2. Robbie Coetzee, 1. Jacques van Rooyen

Substitutes: 16. Malcolm Marx, 17. Julian Redelinghuys, 18. MB Lusaseni, 19. Kwagga Smith, 20. Jaco van der Walt, 21. Rohan Janse van Rensburg, 22. Sampie Mastriet

For more exclusive player content, check out MyPlayers.co.za

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