Swys happy with Lions progress

    2019-01-28 17:31

    Brenden Nel - SuperSport

    Johannesburg - Lions coach Swys de Bruin feels the pre-season hit out against the Bulls gave him “five or six” new names that put up their hands for Super Rugby duty this season.

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    While the Lions lost 21-17, De Bruin was happy with what he saw, especially with a number of under-21 players in the squad.

    “I was happy, it’s very hot here, what was it? 38 degrees? I must say the last 20 minutes was good for us. It is early days for us, we were tested and we saw what we wanted to see. We have lovely depth in our team. Eleven of the 15 that played in the last 20 were still under-21. What was it? Three tries apiece? So it was a nice outing at Loftus here.

    “There are a few of them, he was very good but it would be unfair to mention names now. We need to go out and watch the video and then see which guys from this group will join us next week in Cape Town

    “For sure, there are definitely a few that have put their hands up. We saw that and that was what we were looking for. There are about 23 guys who didn’t play today, the same with the Bulls. But there are about five or six guys who played today that can make the squad.” De Bruin isn’t about to read too much into the pre-season hit out, knowing the tests are coming when Super Rugby starts.

    “This doesn’t count for much, it was more to test out combinations and get used to each other. Next week, we will play more festival rugby, because that is the goal. Have a look at how our passing looks and play rugby – that’s the idea of next week, to look at our skills and see where we are. And then all that counts is the 16th of February in Argentina, we are already focused on that,” he added.

    While the Bulls dominated the scrums, he believed the Lions set-piece would rectify itself sooner rather than later

    “It is the first game, we have new front row players and they need to find their feet. We have great coaching in Phillip Lemmer and Julian Redelinghuys so I’m confident it will come right.”

    The Lions will face the Sharks in the #SuperheroSunday clash at Newlands this weekend in their second pre-season match.

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