The Lions won their first game on tour on Friday when they beat the Chiefs in Hamilton 23-17 after leading 20-0 at the break and did so without head coach Swys de Bruin and defence coach Joey Mongalo.
Both had returned to south Africa, De Bruin hours before the match for “personal reasons” and Mongalo after his conviction and sentencing in Sydney for indecent assault.
The Lions, who have confirmed that is was personal reasons that prompted De Bruin’s departure, did not elaborate on what those were.
♦ Mongalo was accused of, and subsequently charged with, allegedly indecently assaulting a female hotel staff member in a stairwell three days after the Lions’ match against the Waratahs last April.
He returned to Australia in October when the case resumed where he was accused of forcing a hotel employee to touch him indecently.
He has since been found guilty and was in the past handed down an undisclosed sentence in a court in Sydney.
Mongalo has already left the squad to face an internal disciplinary hearing by the Lions in Johannesburg.
The Lions have issued the following statement in this regard:
“The Lions Rugby Company, in consideration of the court ruling handed down in the matter of Joey Mongalo, hereby confirms that it respects the judicial processes of the Australian government and the subsequent court ruling in this matter.
“The Lions Rugby Company considers misconduct related to assault with the act of indecency particularly serious and a direct violation of Lions Rugby Company values and culture. The Lions Rugby Company will follow the normal internal disciplinary processes regarding the matter.”
Earlier in the week the Springbok wing Courtnall Skosan returned home because his father is gravely ill.
Cash van Rooyen, who coached the Golden Lions in last year’s Currie Cup campaign, has taken over the team’s coaching. He has been the Lions fitness and conditioning coach for some years and played sevens rugby for the Emerging Springboks before his move to coaching.
♦ De Bruin signed a two-year contract extension until 2021 with the Lions Company earlier this month.
♦ The Lions complete their tour with a match against the Crusaders in Christchurch next Friday at 09:35. They lost their opening tour match against the Brumbies in Canberra 20-31 last week.