Lions spare Cash the chopping block

Ivan ‘Cash’ van Rooyen will reportedly remain in his position as head coach of the Lions during the United Rugby Championship, but will be supported by new assistants including former Bok Jaque Fourie.

The Lions have been struggling for form as of late and finished bottom of the Currie Cup standings for the first time in over 20 years, winning just two of 12 round robin fixtures.

The team’s poor on-field returns have put the spotlight on Van Rooyen and his perceived inability to instil confidence in the players and to take the squad forward.

Lions CEO Rudolph Straeuli confirmed last week that a restructuring process – necessitated by the demands that will come with playing in the PRO16 URC – is underway at the union.

However, according to a report in Sunday newspaper Rapport, Van Rooyen will keep his position as the team’s head coach, even though the Lions did enter into negotiations with former Springbok lock Victor Matfield.

Van Rooyen will be better supported as the Lions have contracted a few new assistant coaches including former Springboks Jaque Fourie, Albert van den Berg and Ricardo Loubscher.

Van den Berg will take over as the team’s forwards coach after impressing in this role with Griquas, with Warren Whiteley set to leave the Lions to join the Sharks coaching staff.

Loubscher, who worked as Springbok assistant coach during Heyneke Meyer’s tenure, will be the team’s attack and backline coach, while Fourie could be appointed as defence coach, the role he fulfilled with the USA during the 2019 World Cup.


Photo: Sydney Seshibedi/Gallo Images

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Dylan Jack