Lions to pick teenage lock?

2012-04-04 08:08

Cape Town - The Lions' recent lineout woes could prompt coach John Mitchell to utilise the services of young 19-year-old junior Springbok Paul Willemse.

The Beeld newspaper reports that Mitchell might call on Willemse's services as they prepare to face the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein on Saturday.

Willemse could become the sixth lock in five games to represent the Lions this year after injuries and poor form put a spanner in the works in this department.

Mitchell was furious after their lineout fell to pieces in the second half against the Crusaders last week. They ended up losing 23-13 after leading 13-10 at the break.

"It is obvious to everyone that our lineouts aren't working as well as they should at the moment. Not delivering a lineout is unacceptable," Mitchell said after the game.

Franco van der Merwe is the only lock who has played in all their games this season, with Wikus van Heerden, Hendrik Roodt, Stephan Greeff and Marius Coetzer being his partners thus far.

Mitchell is excited about the young Willemse's prospects for the future. The former pupil form Monument High School in Krugersdorp has been playing for the Golden Lions' Vodacom Cup team this year. He stands 1,99m tall and weighs a staggering 135kg.

With Mitchell putting so much emphasis on the fitness of his players, Willemse's weight might count against him though and to just expect him to come up to Super Rugby level might be too big an ask at present.

But if he can step up in a similar way to what youngsters like Andries Coetzee (utility back) and Caylib Oosthuizen (prop) and Tian Meyer (scrumhalf) have done, it will be a step forward for the men from Johannesburg.


  • Nico - 2012-04-04 08:29

    he's got the best coaches around him, he will be fine! GO LIONS!!!

  • John - 2012-04-04 08:50

    Man, 135kgs...this bloke is a monster

      hvanderlinde - 2012-04-04 09:07

      Yeah, geez, he's got about 15 kg's on Etsebeth and I thought he was monstrous

      John - 2012-04-04 10:51

      Wonder what Mrs Willemse fed him.

      Gerrie - 2012-04-04 15:15

      Will he be able to jump high enough with that monster-body? 135 kg's is alot for supporters in the lineout to handle - I don't think this will solve their lineout problems..

  • Brandon - 2012-04-04 08:55

    who is gong to lift him in the line outs? good luck!!!!

      Andre - 2012-04-04 09:09

      I agree with u Brandon, rather use a lock that weights 100kg and can move and the props can lift with ease!

  • Alwyn - 2012-04-04 09:11

    He's namibian, from a town called tsumeb. Went to monnas from there

      wandile.ncube - 2012-04-04 09:13

      Went to KES after leaving Nambia but couldn't cope at a 1st Language English School then left to Monnas

      Eckhard - 2012-04-06 22:19

      He comes from Pretoria he started Highschool at Hoerskool Wonderboom, from he went to Overkruin and from there he went to Namibia just shows the Lions have a eye for young talent the Bulls chase him away and the Lions go and get him in Namibia

  • Stormkaap - 2012-04-04 09:21

    I have been impressed with Caylib oosthuizen and Coetzee as well as Meyer. Lets hope this lock also impresses. Would like to see the Lions do well

  • Champ - 2012-04-04 09:22

    Wllemse is not the answer. Roodt is! (more mobile, higher work rate, more experience).

  • Dev - 2012-04-04 12:21

    The best way forward for the Lions is to actually start winning a few games for a change! Look at the character shown by the Cheetahs against the 'canes over the weekend - definitely missing from the Lions. I'm a fan, but even I have to admit that if the trend continues, it's Vodacom Cup for us next year. C'mon Lions, for heaven's sakes start winning a few games!!!

  • Craig - 2012-04-04 17:08

    Well Done Paul!!!!

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