Lions coach Swys de Bruin has explained the decision to drop flyhalf and vice-captain Elton Jantjies before the match against the Stormers at Ellis Park on Saturday.
Jantjies was a surprising omission from the Lions match-day team announcement for what could be a crucial game in the South African conference this weekend, with Shaun Reynolds named at No 10 in his place.
The Lions stated that the Springbok was dropped because he ‘breached team protocol’.
De Bruin was cagey on the matter when speaking to the media on Thursday, but appeared confident his side could cope without their first-choice playmaker.
‘Life carries on. Nobody is more important than the system, especially at the Lions as a family,’ De Bruin said. ‘From a leadership point of view, there are still very good leaders, Kwagga [Smith] is there, Malcolm [Marx] is there. Andries Coetzee is also a good leader at fullback.
‘In his own right, Shaun knows how to run the backline. He knows the system and Elton has been a mentor to him.’
While De Bruin revealed little on what happened, a report on Netwerk24 suggests that Jantjies had a difference in opinion with a few of his teammates following the loss against the Sharks in Durban last weekend.
Rumours also suggested Jantjies disregarded a decision from on-field captain Smith to kick for poles, while the report added there was some discord after the pivot had thrown two intercept passes at Kings Park.
Photo: Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix