Lions' De Bruin unlikely to deviate from his rotation policy

18 March 2018 - 11:36 By Liam Del Carme
The Emirates Lions head coach Swys de Bruin smiles during a press conference on 15 February 2018 at Ellis Park.
The Emirates Lions head coach Swys de Bruin smiles during a press conference on 15 February 2018 at Ellis Park.
Image: Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix

Having committed to a rotation policy in selection‚ Lions coach Swys de Bruin is unlikely to deviate from his plans despite his team’s poor performances over the last two weekends.

His team travels to Buenos Aires on Wednesday to play the Jaguares next Saturday at a venue the Lions are yet to achieve success.

De Bruin has to carefully shuffle his resources as he seeks to balance immediate needs and long-term objectives in this season’s competition.

Having travelled with slightly weakened teams to South America before‚ De Bruin is wary not to fall into the same trap.

“No‚ no‚ no‚ no‚” he emphatically said when asked whether in-form hooker Malcolm Marx would be left at home.

“We can’t do that at this stage.

"This time around we can’t leave anybody at home.

“We said from the beginning we are using a rotation policy. A few guys need a run.

"A guy like Robbie Coetzee for instance. I‘ve got so much respect for him but Malcolm fights such a good battle upfront that it is difficult to give Robbie a chance.

"I might look to give Robbie a chance next week just to get fresh legs. From a national point of view we also need to look after Malcolm.”

Having tasted defeat in Buenos Aires in 2016 and last year‚ as well as dropping points at home on consecutive weekends‚ has present De Bruin with much food for thought.

He knows he cannot view the trip to Argentina in isolation.

The Lions play the Crusaders the following week and he will need personnel physically up to the challenge against the defending champions.

“Firstly‚ it is nice to go there as the underdog‚” he said about the trip to Argentina’s capital.

“We never won there‚ so it is a challenge in our favour‚” he suggested with a hint of sarcasm.

“It is good for the group to get away together.

"We are looking to maximise opportunity by scoring five tries or more.

"We’ll work on our system not to give away so many.”

De Bruin will‚ however‚ have to consider giving more game time to players like hooker Coetzee‚ loose forward Hacjivah Dayimani‚ centre Howard Mnisi and scrumhalf Marco Jansen van Vuren.