Springbok centre Lionel Mapoe leads player exodus at the Lions

02 July 2019 - 13:12 By Khanyiso Tshwaku
The Emirates Lions centre Lionel Mapoe scores a try for South Africa during the Rugby Championship match between the Springboks and Argentina at Malvinas Argentinas Stadium, Mendoza on August 25 2018.
The Emirates Lions centre Lionel Mapoe scores a try for South Africa during the Rugby Championship match between the Springboks and Argentina at Malvinas Argentinas Stadium, Mendoza on August 25 2018.
Image: Hern‡n Barrios/BackpagePix

The expected post-Rugby World Cup exodus has seemingly started for the Lions with Springbok centre Lionel Mapoe being one of the biggest stars to leave the union.

Mapoe‚ who has been capped 14 times for the Springboks since 2015‚ will be followed out of the exit door by fellow Springboks Ruan Combrinck and Stephan Lewies.

Other players who will be leaving the Lions are hooker Robbie Coetzee‚ utility back Sylvian Mahuza‚ scrumhalf Nic Groom‚ prop Danie Mienie‚ lock Robert Kruger and centres Harold Vorster and Franco Naude.

A number of these players were squad members during the Lions' decent Super Rugby years between 2016 and 2018.

However‚ in the event of previous player exodus when former coach Johan Ackermann left for Gallagher Premiership Rugby club Gloucester in 2017‚ a number of them had to step up to fill the void.

This means the Lions will have a totally different look for next year's Super Rugby tournament after failing to make the play-offs this year for the first time in three seasons.

In the previous three seasons where they reached the play-offs‚ they took part in three consecutive finals which they lost to the Hurricanes away (2016) and the Crusaders at home (2017) and away (2019).

Ackermann presided over the early two Super Rugby final defeats with current Lions Super coach Swys de Bruin in charge for last year's loss against the Crusaders in Christchurch.

From a Currie Cup coaching perspective‚ last year's mentor Ivan “Cash” van Rooyen has a new but popular name in his coaching group in former Glenwood Boy's High‚ Paarl Boy's High and South African Schools coach Sean Erasmus.

Erasmus comes in as the defence and breakdown coach while Philip Lemmer‚ Neil de Bruin and Julian Redelinghuys will work as the forwards coach‚ attack coach and scrum consultant respectively.

Lions Super Rugby defence coach Joey Mongalo will head up the Golden Lions Under-21 side where he'll be assisted by Wessel Roux (forwards) and Mziwakhe Nkosi (attack)

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The Golden Lions' full Currie Cup and Under-21 appointments:

Currie Cup

Head Coach: Ivan van Rooyen

Forwards: Philip Lemmer

Breakdown and Defence: Sean Erasmus

Attack: Neil de Bruin

Scrum Consultant: Julian Redelinghuys

Strength and Conditioning: Rupert Oberholster

Manager: Mustapha Boomgaard

Team Physician: Dr Rob Collins

Physiotherapist: Preven Appalsamy

Massage Therapist: Ram Mpila & Carol Dickson

Kit: Johane Singwane

Under-21

Head Coach: Joey Mongalo

Forwards: Wessel Roux

Attack: Mziwakhe Nkosi

Strength and Conditioning: Stefan van Deventer

Manager: MJ Rabodiba

Team Physician: Dr Anri van Tonder

Physiotherapist: Pam Watts

Kit: Bestall Mondo

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