Lions player strike avoided

It was a “difficult” meeting, Golden Lions Rugby Union president Jannie Ferreira admitted on Thursday, but the threat of a strike by the union’s players just days before their match against the British and Irish Lions next Wednesday has been averted.

It seems the players’ unhappiness stems from an undertaking given to them on Monday – just 36 hours before the sacking of Lions coach Eugene Eloff – that he would be retained as coach.

After frank discussions between the GLRU management and the players on Thursday, the players did return to the training field under interim coach Hans Coetzee and his assistants Wimpie Vermeulen (backline) and Ian Macdonald (forwards), according to a local South African rugby website.

The decision that Eloff was no longer needed was taken shortly after the appointment of the company Jake White’s Winning Way (Pty) Ltd to undertake a full audit of the union’s operations.

There is speculation that White, South Africa’s World Cup winning coach, will be appointed as the successor of Eloff before the start of the Currie Cup season.

According to the website, Eloff has indicated that he is not interested in the “redeployment” offer from the GLRU.


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