Minnie new leader of the Pride

Tue, 19 Aug 2014 10:12
Large lionel mapoe   derrick minn

EXCLUSIVE: Golden Lions coach Johan Ackermann spoke to Jan de Koning about a change in captain ahead of this week's big game.

Derrick Minnie will reclaim the Golden Lions' captaincy armband when they head to Cape Town for a top-of-the-table Currie Cup clash with Western Province.

The Lions, who top the table on points difference ahead of WP, will head to Newlands without regular skipper Warren Whitely - who was called up to the Springbok squad in place of the injured loose forward Willem Albert, for the Test against Argentina in Salta on Saturday.

Lions coach Johan Ackermann, speaking to rugby365 ahead of the trip to Newlands on Saturday, confirmed that Minnie will captain the team, because he was captain last year.

"There will also be a [leadership] role for Lionel Mapoe,"the Lions mentor said, adding: "He [Mapoe] is one of the other senior guys in the team and will help Derrick."

Ackermann said the Lions have a "very open line of communication", which ensures that if Mapoe needs to share something with the team he will get he message across.

"The guys will know he is vice-captain and they will listen to him," Ackermann said, adding that he is in favour of just one captain - ass opposed to a dual captaincy used by some teams.

"Derrick, last year, when things were a bit rocky in the Currie Cup and Warren [Whiteley] was out, he took the leadership and did a great job," Ackermann said.

With Whitely called up for Bok duty, the Lions will be looking for a replacement at No.8.

"We are very privileged with the loose forwards we have," the coach said, adding: "We have Warwick Tecklenburg and Willie Britz who can both come into the starting XV.

"They are both hungry and desperately keen to get an opportunity. They understand they are below Warren [Whiteley] in the pecking order, who is [the regular] captain.

"Warren Whiteley is in great form and he is our leader, so it is a setback, but I do believe those guys will grab the opportunity to prove they are also worthy of regular starting spots."

Apart from the change among the loose forwards, he Lions team is unlikely to be altered too much for the trip to Newlands.

"There are a few bumps and bruises," the coach said.

Courtnall Skosan could be cleared from his cheek bone injury by Wednesday or Thursday, and the Lions could consider him.

Alwyn Hollenbach could also be cleared after his shoulder injury.

"We have to make a call on whether to play him or not," Ackermann told rugby365.

"[Under-20 star] Harold [Vorster] did really well in his first two Currie Cup games," he said, adding: "The decision to be made is whether we recall the senior, experienced player or stick with the youngster who has not let you down.

"It is a tough call, but that call - between the experience of Alwyn [Hollenbach] or young Harold [Vorster] - is one I still have to make."

By Jan de Koning

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Wed, 31 May 2017
New Zealand U20 v Scotland U20 07h00 AIA Arena
England U20 v Samoa U20 07h00 Tbilisi
South Africa U20 v France U20 09h30 Tbilisi
Ireland U20 v Italy U20 09h30 AIA Arena
Argentina U20 v Georgia U20 12h00 Tbilisi
Australia U20 v Wales U20 14h30 Tbilisi
Fri, 02 June 2017
Blues v Reds 07h35 Auckland
Sat, 03 June 2017
Crusaders v Highlanders 02h35 Christchurch
Chiefs v Waratahs 05h05 Hamilton
NZ Barbarians v B&I Lions 07h35 Toll Stadium
Brumbies v Rebels 09h45 Canberra
Force v Hurricanes 11h35 Perth
Sun, 04 June 2017
Ireland U20 v Scotland U20 07h00 AIA Arena
Argentina U20 v France U20 07h00 Tbilisi
New Zealand U20 v Italy U20 09h30 AIA Arena
Australia U20 v Samoa U20 09h30 Tbilisi
South Africa U20 v Georgia U20 12h00 Tbilisi
England U20 v Wales U20 14h30 Tbilisi
RESULT SCORE
Sun, 28 May 2017
Lions v Kings 54 | 10
Sat, 27 May 2017
Jaguares v Brumbies 15 | 39
Munster v Scarlets 22 | 46
Sharks v Stormers 22 | 10
Wasps v Exeter Chiefs 20 | 23
Bulls v Hurricanes 20 | 34
Rebels v Crusaders 19 | 41
Highlanders v Waratahs 44 | 28
Sunwolves v Cheetahs 7 | 47
Fri, 26 May 2017
Reds v Force 26 | 40
Blues v Chiefs 16 | 16
Sun, 21 May 2017
Waratahs v Rebels 50 | 23
Sat, 20 May 2017
Kings v Brumbies 10 | 19
Munster v Ospreys 23 | 3
Wasps v Leicester Tigers 21 | 20
CURRIE CUP
MORE LOGS
Team P W D L Pts
Free State Cheetahs 8 8 0 0 39
Blue Bulls 8 6 0 2 30
Western Province 8 5 0 3 27
Golden Lions 8 5 0 3 26
Sharks 8 5 0 3 25
Griquas 8 4 0 4 21
Boland 8 2 0 6 11
Pumas 8 1 0 7 10
EP Kings 8 0 0 8 1