• Lions readying for return

    Lions coach Johan Ackermann is pleased with his side's progress ahead of the 2014 Super Rugby season.

    Ackermann believes that the familiarity between the players is key in the development of the side.

    ‘I think one of the most important aspects of the training camp is for the newly signed players and those players on loan to get to know each other a bit better and establish stronger relationships,’ said Ackermann. ‘Obviously team-building is crucial ahead of Super Rugby, but the camp will also be a time for us to sit down as a group and establish our core set of missions, aims and values for the upcoming competition.’

    The squad has encountered some injury concerns over recent weeks, but Ackermann is confident that the medical team has made great strides in the rehabilitation of the players.

    ‘While we have a few niggles in the camp, the players involved are working hard and are positive. We are very happy with their progress and are looking forward to the warm-up matches, where we will be able to measure ourselves. We all know that a massive challenge lies ahead but the players are working hard to ensure that we succeed.'

    The Lions host the Leopards in Johannesburg on 24 January, travel to Port Elizabeth to face the Kings on 1 February and will also meet the Sharks on 7 February at Ellis Park.

    The final Lions Super Rugby squad will be announced on 30 January.

    Photo: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix