The Lions have turned their results around on the field, but the off-field drama has continued at the union with a reported conflict between two members of the coaching staff.
According to Sunday newspaper Rapport, Lions forwards coach Albert van den Berg is furious with the union’s technical analyst Chris Venter, who has been accused of recording private conversations from the former lock’s laptop.
Venter, who is responsible for preparing the coaches’ laptops before each game allegedly took pictures of a WhatsApp conversation between Van den Berg and agent Dane Galley, as he suspected the former Springbok was responsible for leaking information to the media that has left the union red-faced recently.
The matter has been directed to chief executive Rudolf Straeuli and an internal investigation is being conducted.
This is the latest off-field drama to hit the union after player assessments of each coaching staff member was leaked to the media, which came before a leaked coaching meeting that included complaints about Straeuli, including how he allegedly interfered with team selections, something he has since denied.
Reports also emerged earlier this year of an unhappy camp and players taking issue with the quality of coaching and operational inefficiency from members of the wider management team, amid talk that the players had to live on hotdogs and do their own laundry while on tour in the UK.
Despite all the drama, the Lions have turned their season around on the field, beating Glasgow Warriors and the Vodacom Bulls to make a late charge to qualify for the Vodacom United Rugby Championship playoffs, while claiming a memorable victory over Racing 92 to progress to the Challenge Cup quarter-finals, where they were beaten by Glasgow.
The Lions are currently three points away from the eighth-placed Sharks, going into the final two round-robin games of the season.
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