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Status: Hall Of Fame
Posts: 11993
Lions to play Russia! Full 2013 macthes and their squad
January 08, 2013, 09:23:07

Ex Supersport - by Baylion

First, some good news: The Lions vs Russia match on 19 January at 19h00 will be broadcast LIVE on DSTV SS1 and SHD.

To quote Charles [removed]ens: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to heaven, we were all going direct the other way”.

I’m not going to dwell on the negatives, suffice to say that after 2012 started with high hopes the Lions were knocked back by a poor Super Rugby season to be followed by being dumped from the competition by SARU and the South Africa rugby administrators. (Blame the poor Super 15 campaign on injuries)

As if that were not enough the Lions players and management didn’t do the team any favours by starting a legal battle they couldn’t finish when they tried to oust John Mitchell. After all the stories of player complaints apparently only two players turned up to give evidence, a serious indictment of the ringleaders in this drama, most of whom have now left for distant shores.

However, it was a year of triumphs as well, an incredibly successful season in some ways.

The most successful aspect of the Lions season is the fact that, after years of not producing any Springboks, they suddenly have seven players in the Springbok EOYT squad. Even though they may not all have been given time on the field it is clearly a sign that something had gone right amidst all the drama at the union. (Proving onceMore that John MItchell is a fine coach trying to inculcate a winning culture and being thrawted by some lazy players)

The 2013 season now looms big before the Lions. Their enforced hiatus from Super Rugby has to be used productively to rebuild the team and the union into a competitive unit.

The Lions have schedule a full season of matches against non-traditional opponents starting with Russia on 19 January with a full season of Vodacom Cup matches thrown in. Come July 27 the Lions will have no excuses and when they play the first of the wooden spoon knock out matches, they should be match fit with at least 23 matches under the belt.

The big issues for the Lions will be how they not only develop new players to replace the 21 players who left during 2012, either in permanent moves, retirement or on loan to other franchises, but also how they manage their players to minimise injuries and fatigue (THAT APPLIES TO ALL OUR SUPER 15 FRANCHISES - FAIL HERE AND YOU WILL NOT WIN THE SUPER 15 - WITNESS THE MIGHTY STORMERS WITH ALL THEIR INJURIES NOT HAVING PLAYERS AVAILABLE IN THE BUSINESS END OF THE COMP). Losing in the wooden spoon playoffs due to too many injuries will be inexcusable.

While the Lions lost a number of key and first choice players they, surprisingly, retained a good core of senior players while signing a number of new players. These senior players, together with youngsters coming through and the new recruits, will have to pull the Lions through what promises to be a testing first semester.

The elephant in the room, however, remains John Mitchell. Will his presence as a consultant be beneficial or will it be disruptive? (Again proving th ehigh regard the Union has for John - case closed)

The fixture list (including Vodacom Cup):

19-Jan-13 vs Russia @ Ellis Park
23-Jan-13 vs Cheetahs @ Ellis Park
2-Feb-13 vs Bulls @ Orlando Stadium
9-Feb-13 vs Kings @ Ellis Park (Tha tshoul db every interesting - Lions of course severely depelte dbuy hopefully will send the queens packing - sorry Luke but you guys do not occupy the moral high ground here)
23 Feb-13 vs Namibia @ Windhoek, Namibia
2 March 2013 vs Blue Bulls (Vodacom Cup)
9 March 2013 vs Griffons (Vodacom Cup)
16-Mar-13 vs Mont de Marsan @ Ellis Park
16 March 2013 vs Leopards (Vodacom Cup)
23 March 2013 vs Pumas (Vodacom Cup)
6 April 2013 vs Falcons (Vodacom Cup)
13-Apr-13 vs US Invitational in Irvine, CA, USA
20-Apr-13 vs US Invitational in Vancouver, Canada
20 April 2013 vs Limpopo (Vodacom Cup)
27- Apr-13 vs Chicago Lions @ Chicago, IL, USA
27 April 2013 vs Zimbabwe (Vodacom Cup)
11-May-13 vs Agen @ Ellis Park
11 May 2013 Vodacom Cup QF
18 May 2013 Vodacom Cup SF
25 May 2013 Vodacom Cup Final
1-Jun-13 vs Samoa @ Ellis Park
8-Jun-13 vs French Barbarians @ Ellis Park
15-Jun-13 vs Stormers @ Ellis Park
21-Jun-13 vs Sharks @ Ellis Park
12-Jul-13 vs Montpellier @ Ellis Park
20-Jul-13 vs Grenoble @ Ellis Park
27-Jul-13 Wooden Spoon Knockout away
3-Aug-13 Wooden Spoon Knockout @ Ellis Park

Extended squad (currently known):

Martin Bezuidenhout
Francois du Toit
Robbie Coetzee
Mark Pretorius u/21

JC Janse van Rensburg
CJ van der Linde
Ruan Dreyer
Jacques van Rooyen
Gideon Muller u/21
Jacques Kotze u/21

Hendrik Roodt
Stephan Greeff
JJ Breet
Franco Mostert
Hugo Kloppers
Ruan Venter u/21

Loose forwards:
Derick Minnie
Jaco Kriel
Warren Whiteley
Willie Britz
Warwick Tecklenberg
Stephan de Witt u/21
Ruan Lerm u/21
Fabian Booysen u/21

Michael Bondesio
Ross Cronje
Whestley Moolman
Vian van der Watt u/21

Marnitz Boshoff
Lionel Cronje
Guy Cronje
Marais [removed] u/21

Alwyn Hollenbach
Dylan Des Fountain
Bradley Moolman
Deon van Rensburg
Stokkies Hanekom
Robert du Bruyn

Anthony Volmink
JR Esterhuizen
Deon Helberg
James Kamana

Andries Coetzee
Ruan Combrinck
Kobus de Kock

Congratulations to the Lions management team for producing such an outstanding itinery for the lions and we wish you guys every success. Barring your match against the Stormers of course.


Status: Hall Of Fame
Posts: 11993
RE: Lions to play Russia! Full 2013 macthes and their squad
January 08, 2013, 11:29:58

Does anyone recall who the contracted players are who are bound to return to the Lions? 


Status: Hall Of Fame
Posts: 11993
RE: Lions to play Russia! Full 2013 macthes and their squad
January 08, 2013, 11:56:23

Fair weather friends Coco Cola however depart:


Cape Town - Things appear to be going from bad to worse for the beleaguered Golden Lions Rugby Union (GLRU) with the news that stadium sponsors Coca-Cola have opted not to renew their sponsorship in 2013.

A press release this week from the Lions referred to the stadium as Ellis Park - and not Coca-Cola Park as it has been known in recent years.

The news was quickly picked on Twitter with reports confirming Coca-Cola had ended their R12m-a-year deal in December last year.

The Lions lost several of their top players in 2012 after the South African Rugby Union (SARU) confirmed they would be replaced - in favour of the Kings - for this year's Super Rugby tournament



Status: Bok regular
Posts: 640
RE: Lions to play Russia! Full 2013 macthes and their squad
January 08, 2013, 19:25:42

I still don't understand the game in Vancouver against the US Invitationals. I don't see why it wouldn't be against Canada, or our leagues best 15.


Status: Bok regular
Posts: 1464
RE: Lions to play Russia! Full 2013 macthes and their squad
January 09, 2013, 08:16:05

Can i have the susption that both the US invitational teams will consist of North American players. If they play in Vancouver this could indicate to 2 things:

1. That canadian players are available and the deal was struck to play one game there as well.


2. Canada is doing the Us a foavour by letting them play in Vancouver as they could probably not get a location in Seattle :).

I think it's the first, however i have nothing to substantiate my suspition on, just a feeling.


Status: Hall Of Fame
Posts: 11993
RE: Lions to play Russia! Full 2013 macthes and their squad
January 09, 2013, 09:17:35

Greetings to you canned rugby good to see you back!!!

I agree the Lions should definitely have had a game against the rising Canadian side.  It may be a combined USA/Canadian side - a bit too much for these Lions perhaps.


Status: Bok regular
Posts: 1464
RE: Lions to play Russia! Full 2013 macthes and their squad
January 09, 2013, 09:36:28

Anyone have any idea how many of these games will be televised. As there seems to be alot of once offs here that could be interesting to watch. Purely out of a curiosity point of view.

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