Lions coach adds his voice to calls for match day squads to be increased
Calls for match day squads in the Currie Cup to be increased from 22 to 23 players are intensifying after Golden Lions coach Swys de Bruin added his voice to the debate yesterday.
Western Province coach John Dobson had earlier voiced concerns at SA Rugby's current policy to have one less player in match day squads than the prescribed number set by World Rugby‚ the sport's governing body.
“I'm with Dobbo 100 percent. I agree‚" said De Bruin.
"It should be the same as Super Rugby.
"It should be a safety factor.
"It is just much better for the team in the event of injuries.
"I don't know if its a cost thing‚ because it is one more guy on a bus‚ one more guy in an aeroplane‚ one more guy in a hotel room.”
The policy has hamstrung Currie Cup coaches in that they can only select seven instead of eight players among the substitutes‚ which often has had the knock on effect in the number of front rankers they can earmark for the bench.
World Rugby wants teams under its auspices to have a full complement of front rankers on the bench‚ but Currie Cup coaches often select just one prop as they struggle to plug holes elsewhere among their reserves.
“We went with just one prop in our first two games‚” reminded Lions forwards consultant Victor Matfield.
“If you get an injury the guy on the bench can only really play one position. He is a specialist. You can move guys around but they should be specialists in their position. It will be great if we can get 23-man squads‚” said Matfield.
De Bruin added that it impacted profoundly on how coach assemble their teams. “You will box totally differently in your selections‚” he said before adding that their concerns had been raised with SA Rugby.
“They know. We have worked through our CEO Rudolf (Straeuli) and they know. He is in favour of that as well. It is something that has to come from their side.”
For their match against the Blue Bulls at Ellis Park on Saturday‚ De Bruin has included full front row cover on the bench.
It includes the fit again Dylan Smith who sustained a serious shoulder injury in Buenos Aires during the Super Rugby campaign.
Lock Andries Ferreira returns to the side after missing last week's clash against Griquas because of the birth of his daughter last week.
In a change on the bench Shaun Reynolds comes in for Branco du Preez who rejoins the Blitzbokke.
The Lions team is:
Jaco van der Walt‚ Sylvian Mahuza‚ Rohan Janse van Rensburg‚ Harold Vorster‚ Anthony Volmink; Ashlon Davids‚ Marco Janse van Vuren; Ryan Kankowski‚ Cyle Brink‚ Kwagga Smith; Marvin Orie‚ Andries Ferreira; Jacobie Adriaanse‚ Robbie Coetzee‚ Jacques van Rooyen (captain).
Substitutes: Pieter Jansen‚ Dylan Smith‚ Johannes Jonker‚ Robert Kruger‚ Fabian Booysen; Shaun Reynolds‚ Aphiwe Dyantyi.