Late Lions shock as coach Swys de Bruin heads home
Cape Town - In a shock revelation, the Lions will complete the New Zealand leg of their Super Rugby Australasian tour without coach Swys de Bruin.
Du Bruin has reportedly returned to South Africa mere hours ahead of the team’s match against the Chiefs in Hamilton on Friday.
Kick-off is at 09:35 SA time.
Lions Rugby Company CEO Rudolf Straeuli confirmed that De Bruin is on his way back from New Zealand.
"He is returning home for personal reasons," Straeuli told the Rugby365 website.
Straeuli went on to confirm that Ivan van Rooyen, the team’s 2018 Currie Cup coach, will take charge of the team in Hamilton.
"He (De Bruin) informed me late on Wednesday of the situation," Straeuli said.
Team manager Mustapha Boomgaard will take charge of the off-field matters.
As this stage it's unclear as to the exact nature of the "personal reasons".
Du Bruin signed a two-year contract extension with the Johannesburg-based franchise earlier this month, tying him to the union until 2021.
After Friday’s encounter with the Chiefs, the Lions complete their tour with a match against the Crusaders in Christchurch next Friday, April 26 at 09:35.
The Lions' opening tour match against the Brumbies in Canberra ended in a 31-20 defeat, leaving the Lions bottom of the South African Conference and ninth in the Overall standings at the halfway mark in the season.
15 Jack Debreczeni, 14 Sean Wainui, 13 Alex Nankivell, 12 Anton Lienert-Brown, 11 Ataata Moeakiola, 10 Marty McKenzie, 9 Brad Weber (captain), 8 Taleni Seu, 7 Lachlan Boshier, 6 Luke Jacobson, 5 Mitchell Brown, 4 Tyler Ardron, 3 Nepo Laulala, 2 Liam Polwart, 1 Angus Ta'avao
Substitutes: 16 Samisoni Taukei'aho, 17 Atu Moli, 18 Sosefo Kautai, 19 Jesse Parete, 20 Pita Gus Sowakula, 21 Jonathan Taumateine, 22 Tumua Manu, 23 Shaun Stevenson
15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Sylvian Mahuza, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 Elton Jantjies, 11
Aphiwe Dyantyi, 10 Gianni Lombard, 9 Ross Cronje, 8 Warren Whiteley (captain),
7 Cyle Brink, 6 Kwagga Smith, 5 Marvin Orie, 4 Stephan Lewies, 3 Carlu Sadie, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Sti Sithole
Substitutes: 16 Robbie Coetzee, 17 Frans Van Wyk, 18 Johannes Jonker, 19
Wilhelm van der Sluys, 20 Marnus Schoeman, 21 Nic Groom, 22 Franco Naude, 23