Mitchell not interested in Lions partners

Despite the new Super Rugby format requiring teams to have greater player depth, the Lions are not expected to make use of their alliance with the Leopards and Pumas in the near future.

“They are not our allies,” Pumas coach Jimmy Stonehouse said on Friday.

“I have in the past given them the names of many promising players but they didn’t even bother to invite them to attend training sessions.”

Stonehouse’s sentiments were echoed in Potchefstoom where the Leopards are based.

“We have in the past asked them to have a look at some of our guys, like BG Uys, but they are not interested,” said Leopards coach Leon Boshoff.

“As a smaller union our goal is to produce players — even if it is just one or two a year — that can play at that level.

“Super Rugby gives you a chance to compete with some of the most brilliant players and it is the toughest competition in the world.”

Following last week’s close shave against the Leopards, which saw the match level at 36-all with 10 minutes to play, Lions coach John Mitchell said he would continue to focus on his core squad.

In contrast to the Johannesburg side which had been stuck at the bottom of Super Rugby’s pecking order since the Cats (Lions and Cheetahs combined) ceased to exist, the Cheetahs have made good use of Griquas players to boost their depth.

The exposure the Griquas players received in Super 14 and Super Rugby led to several new Springboks being identified — which would not necessarily have been the case had they been as stubborn as the Lions.

The partnership between Griquas and the Cheetahs saw the likes of looseforward Davon Raubenheimer, fullback Riaan Viljoen and former Griquas wing Bjorn Basson earn their Springbok colours.

“I can understand them not taking a whole bunch of our players, as they are entitled to do, as it can cause disruptions in the Currie Cup, but then how will we grow the experience in our group,” said Stonehouse.

The Leopards and Pumas lock horns in Potchefstroom on Friday in what could turn out to be one of the most entertaining matches of the weekend.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.