Vermaak to make way for Lions youngsters

Outgoing Lions scrumhalf Jano Vermaak looks set to join the Bulls after the Currie Cup suitably rested after coach John Mitchell revealed that he would only use Vermaak if his younger players are injured.

Mitchell looked at the positives of losing Vermaak to the Bulls by saying the loss would create opportunities for promising young players in his squad,

GLRU CEO Manie Reyneke said that “we tried everything we could to keep Jano. He’s been a very influential player who has served the Lions very well over the years. We are sad to lose him, but we understand his choice to leave after having discussions with him, and we wish him all the best.”

“I’ve been at the Lions for such a long time – nearly six years and I just need a change and a new challenge at this point. This wasn’t just a rugby decision, but also a business one.

There are some business opportunities in Pretoria and I need to start looking at my life after rugby”, Vermaak said after signing the two year contract with the Bulls.

“You need to look at the positives in situations like this,” Coach John Mitchell said.

“Sure, it’s a blow to lose a player of Jano’s caliber, but now we can look to the future – who at the moment is Michael Bondesio and Rudy Paige, who I see great potential in – and we can start investing in and focusing on them and developing other future scrum halves within the Lions.

“Jano will still be with the Lions for the rest of the season, but I will use this as an opportunity to develop my future players and utilize Jano in case of injuries.

“To say that we were blindsided by Jano’s decision to leave the Lions would be an understatement, and I can’t say we’re very pleased about the situation, but you can’t retain players if their hearts are elsewhere.

“I wish Jano success in the future and thank him for his contribution”, Mitchell concluded.

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