Swys de Bruin appointed Lions head coach
Swys de Bruin was on Tuesday officially unveiled as the next coach of the Lions and Golden Lions.
The Lions Rugby Company did not immediately respond to queries about the duration of De Bruin’s contract.
Alongside Ackermann the pair have created a formidable partnership and De Bruin’s elevation is a natural progression of the work they have done‚ which took the Lions to the Super Rugby final in 2016.
They are again South Africa’s leading team in Super Rugby in 2017 and still have a chance of ending the Pool phase of the tournament as overall log leaders‚ which would give them a home final if they progress that far.
De Bruin will be the oldest head coach in Super Rugby next year but comes with a wealth of experience that includes stints as Griquas head coach (1998-2003)‚ SA Under-21 coach (2001) and head of the Sharks’ Academy (1996-97 and 2004-2012).
De Bruin is acknowledged as the brains behind the Lions’ superb attacking play that has seen them reinvent themselves as a free-scoring team.
Last year the Lions scored 81 tries in 18 Super Rugby matches and this year they have already notched up 78 tries in 14 matches.
They have also won 13 of their games this season.
Rudolf Straeuli‚ CEO of Lions Rugby (Pty) Ltd‚ said: “The Company is pleased to announce that De Bruin has put pen to paper for the position of Head Coach at the Lions.
“We believe it will bring continuity and stability within the different teams in the various competitions that we are taking part in.”
De Bruin is thankful for the opportunity given to him to extend his relationship with the Lions.
“I am thankful for the trust the board of directors put in me and look forward to the challenge.
"For now we are still totally focused on our campaign in the 2017 Super Rugby season.”
The Lions also listed players who would ‘remain’ at the union‚ but again‚ gave no immediate details of time frames and contract periods.
List of players remaining at union: Warren Whiteley Albertus Smith Andries Coetzee Andries Ferreira (renewed) Anthony Volminck Aphiwe Dyantyi Corné Fourie Courtnall Skosan (renewed) Cyle Brink Dillon Smit (renewed) Dylan Smith Elton Jantjies Franco Mostert Harold Vorster Howard Mnisi Jaco Kriel Jaco van der Walt (renewed) Jacques van Rooyen (renewed) Johannes Jonker Justin Ackerman (renewed) Lionel Mapoe (renewed) Lourens Erasmus Malcolm Marx (renewed) Marvin Orie Robbie Coetzee Rohan Janse van Rensburg Ross Cronjé Ruan Ackermann Ruan Combrinck Ruan Dreyer Shaun Reynolds Sthi Sithole Sylvian Mahuza (renewed)