Lions coach Swys: Boks come first in 2019
Cape Town - Lions coach Swys de Bruin says the Springboks must be made the priority in Super Rugby this year with the World Cup months away.
The Lions have made, and lost, all of the last three Super Rugby finals and would want to get over the line in 2019, but De Bruin acknowledged on Friday that the Boks must come first in 2019 with the World Cup getting underway in Japan in 2019.
De Bruin served as an attacking consultant for the Springboks in 2018 under Rassie Erasmus, and he is expected to continue in that role up until the World Cup.
According to Netwerk24, Erasmus met with De Bruin and Lions management on Thursday to outline plans for the season, with resting the Bok players throughout Super Rugby high up on his list of requests.
"In a World Cup year like this, the Springboks come first," De Bruin said.
"We will need to box clever and find a balance to make sure the Boks are not overplayed and that they get enough rest during the tournament.
"I am realistic about the situation we are in and understand the bigger picture."
The Lions open their 2019 Super Rugby account with a trip to Argentina to take on the Jaguares on February 16.