The Lions have confirmed the appointment of Mziwakhe Nkosi as their Currie Cup coach for the 2022 campaign.
The former SA Schools mentor will be assisted by former Springbok Wessel Roux (former Lions U20 head coach), Philip Lemmer (two-time Vodacom Super Rugby final assistant coach) and Wynand Ellis (Lions U20 assistant coach) – all who were involved in the Lions’ title victory in the 2021 SA Rugby U20 Cup.
The Currie Cup is South Africa’s oldest domestic rugby competition and Nkosi is honoured to steer his troops in his maiden campaign as head coach this season.
“It is obviously a privilege to lead the Currie Cup side for a franchise like ours,” expressed Nkosi.
“From a personal development point, I am hoping that it is another experience that I can learn from at this level in concert with my passionate management team. I have no doubt we can create something special with the young talent coming through at the Lions,” he added.
Nkosi said there will be ample opportunities for young players throughout this Currie Cup season and that the grooming of youngsters further establishes the Lions as one of the best franchises to play rugby.
“We’re hoping to produce a successful team in terms of this year’s competition. We’re looking at a youthful group with plenty of pedigree in terms of having represented the Junior Springboks as well having been successful in the Junior Championships in the past,” explains Nkosi.
“From a franchise perspective, it’s about ensuring we produce players who can graduate to the Vodacom URC team and keep the conveyor belt turning.”
Shifting his attention to the Lions supporters, Nkosi promises to make fans proud this season by adding an enjoyment factor to the game.
“We are grateful for the unwavering support from our loyal fans. They can expect a team that plays a positive brand of rugby and a group of players who will demonstrate an enormous amount pride in the badge on their chest,” he concluded.
Commenting on the new coaching lineup, Lions CEO Rudolf Straeuli said: “We give full support to this year’s management team, and we are confident in their capabilities heading into the tournament.
“It’s going to be exciting to see some of our youngsters grab their opportunity to impress at this level.”
The Lions kick off their campaign against Western Province in Cape Town on 15 January 2022.