The Lions have confirmed they will utilise two different squads for the Vodacom United Rugby Championship and Currie Cup competitions.
The Lions start their 2022 Currie Cup season with an away game against Western Province this weekend, while their URC campaign will resume two weeks later on 29 January when they host the Vodacom Bulls at Ellis Park.
From that point on, the two competitions will run concurrently and the union’s URC head coach Ivan van Rooyen has confirmed to Rugby365.com that they’ve decided to split their playing group into two squads.
“It is a new approach for us,” Van Rooyen said. “There will be some sessions where we will work against each other, but the majority of the time training is being done with split squads. It is great for the identity of both teams.
“The same applies to the players. It is important for players on the fringes to know where they stand and be afforded the opportunity to make a mark. They can focus on a specific competition.”
He added that the Currie Cup squad, coached by Mziwakhe Nkosi, will mostly feature young players from the Lions’ junior ranks, who played in the U20 competition last year.
“Many of them have had a taste of the Currie Cup.”