Bok guru lends helping hand at Lions

    2015-06-05 08:24

    Cape Town - Springbok defence guru John McFarland was a welcome guest at the Lions’ training session in Johannesburg on Thursday.

    The Lions were preparing for their Super Rugby duel against the Stormers at Newlands on Saturday.

    While he is defence coach at the Boks, McFarland helped the Lions in another capacity on Thursday.

    “I’m not sure many people are aware of this, but John also specialises in the coaching of hookers,” Lions coach Johan Ackermann told Netwerk24.

    McFarland has a good relationship with the Lions’ first-choice No 2, Robbie Coetzee, who is currently banned for a dangerous tip-tackle. The relationship stems from their days together at the Bulls.

    “It’s not bad to have someone with contacts,” Ackermann quipped.

    But the coach said the Lions’ two hookers for Saturday’s derby at Newlands - Akker van der Merwe and Malcolm Marx - gained a lot of insight from McFarland’s visit.

    “I have a lot of confidence in Akker and Malcolm, but they are young men who still need to learn more about their own games.

    “This weekend we’ll be playing a game where most of the play will in all likelihood be among the forwards.

    “And this means the set pieces would be very important. John helped a bit with the finer technical adjustments.”

    Saturday’s clash at Newlands kicks off at 17:05.

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