A round up of what some of South Africa’s leading Sunday papers are saying, including an update on the status of Lions centre Wandisile Simelane.
A number of stories in Rapport focus on the Lions after the Johannesburg team got their season on track with a win over the Reds at Ellis Park. One of these looks at why promising backline star Simelane has been left out of the Lions’ squads for their two opening fixtures of the season. According to a report by Brenden Nel, the Lions confirmed that Simlane is not injured. Lions coach Ivan van Rooyen said that Simelane is busy working hard to take his chance when he gets it. The report goes on to state that it is being speculated among the players that Simelane did not do the needed fitness work during the Lions’ pre-season.
Staying with the Lions, and there is reportedly a chance that Willem Alberts could make a return to Vodacom Super Rugby in next weekend’s clash against the Stormers. After a long period of talks, the Lions confirmed last week that they had re-signed Alberts for this season. After the win against the Reds, Van Rooyen said that they would look at how Alberts comes through training on Monday and Tuesday before deciding on his availability.
Meanwhile, Rapport also carries an update on the SA Rugby Youth Weeks, which were under threat after Coca-Cola pulled out as a headline sponsor in 2018, leaving SA Rugby to deal with the costs of the weeks in 2019. According to the report, written by Hendrik Cronje, Coca-Cola is one of at least five brands interested in sponsoring the weeks this year, after the positivity created by the Springboks’ 2019 World Cup win. If SA Rugby does not manage to get a sponsor, the body would have to cover the costs of the U18 Craven Week and U16 Grant Khomo Week. Parents, unions and certain schools would themselves have to pay to send children to the U13 Craven Week and U18 Academy Week.
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