To what extent will the preparation of the Springboks for their test matches and the World Cup be affected?
That is an important question that springs to mind after media reports on Sunday that the Lions coach Swys de Bruin, who left the team on the eve of their match against the Chiefs in Hamilton for “personal” reasons which were initially not divulged, returned home because of stress.
De Bruin was appointed as an attack consultant to the Springboks last year. Towards the end of the 2018 Super Rugby campaign, he had to balance his responsibilities with the Lions as well as giving input at the Springbok camps.
He was again contracted for this position with the national side in November - and for Bok coach Rassie Erasmus it is now a matter of wait and see how things develop.
♦ The Sunday newspaper Rapport reported that De Bruin could not cope with the stress related to the coaching job.
Lions Company CEO Straeuli confirmed to the Sunday paper that professional advice will be called in but emphasised that no immediate decisions will be taken regarding De Bruin’s future, as is the case with every player at the Lions.
De Bruin’s contract was recently renewed for a further two years.
♦ Asked about a fallout between De Bruin and Lions vice-president Altman Allers, who is also a sponsor of the Lions, De Bruin denied to saugbymagazine.co.za that there was any breakdown in relationship between him and anyone in the team or at the union.
♦ Meanwhile conditioning coach Ivan van Rooyen, who coached the Golden Lions in last year’s Curie Cup competition, will take over as coach on tour where the Lions still have a match against defending champions Crusaders on Friday.
With Van Rooyen at the helm, who changed the team selected by De Bruin before the match against the Chiefs on Friday, the Lions turned around their fortunes following two hidings against the Sharks and the Brumbies to beat the Chiefs 23-17.