Kriel: Players 'delighted' with Swys' appointment

Fri, 14 Jul 2017 10:54

IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Lions flank Jaco Kriel - along with his teammate - fully supports the appointment of  Zacharia Francois de Bruin as coach. Josh Isaacson reports.

The Lions confirmed on Tuesday that De Bruin will replace current coach Johan Ackermann - who is on his way to Gloucester in England  - at the end of the 2017 season.

However, before his exit, the Johannesburg-based side will want to to give Ackermann the perfect send off with the play-off looming.

In the absence of regular captain Warren Whitely due to injury, Jaco Kriel will skipper the side for their clash against the Sharks on Saturday. 

The flank stated that Ackermann's presence will definitely be missed, but looks forward to working with De Bruin.

"Definitely going to miss coach Akkies [Johan Ackermann]," Kriel told reporters.

"However, going forward I really think coach Swys is the man for the job. He knows the players, he knows the culture and he knows how everything works. He ticks all the right boxes," Kriel added.

Ackermann echoed Kriel's sentiments and praised his colleague De Bruin's coaching prowess. De Bruin joined the Lions in 2013 as an assistant coach and has guided the once relegated Super Rugby side to one of the best in the competition. 

He reassured Lions supporters that De Bruin's knowledge of the team's culture will make the transition from coaches easier on the players.

"I’m very pleased with Swys' appointment," Ackermann said.

"We came a long way. I know how the players feel about him and it’s great that his going to be in charge.

"He was the assistant coach for a long time, so this is well deserved. He is experienced and most importantly he is part of the culture that we’ve built at the franchise.

"He knows how the players think and what how to get the best out of them," Ackermann added.

The Lions either host the New Zealand side Highlanders or fellow South Africans the Sharks in the quarter-finals - depending on Round 17 results.  

By Josh Isaacson



There are currently no matches being played
Fri, 23 March 2018
Crusaders v Bulls 06h35 Christchurch
Rebels v Sharks 08h45 Melbourne
Connacht v Edinburgh 19h35 Sportsground
Dragons v Cheetahs 19h35 Rodney Parade
Glasgow Warriors v Zebre 19h35 Scotstoun
Bath v Exeter Chiefs 19h45 Recreation Ground
Sat, 24 March 2018
Sunwolves v Chiefs 04h15 Tokyo
Hurricanes v Highlanders 06h35 Wellington
Kings v Treviso 13h00 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
London Irish v Gloucester 15h00 Madejski Stadium
Saracens v Harlequins 15h00 London
Sale Sharks v Worcester Warriors 15h00 AJ Bell Stadium
Stormers v Reds 15h15 Newlands
Cardiff Blues v Ulster 15h15 Cardiff Arms Park
Munster v Scarlets 17h30 Thomond Park
Newcastle Falcons v Northampton Saints 17h30 Kingston Park
Ospreys v Leinster 19h35 Liberty Stadium
Jaguares v Lions 19h40 Estadio Jose Amalfitani
Sun, 25 March 2018
Leicester Tigers v Wasps 15h00 Welford Road
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Rebels 4 3 0 1 15
Waratahs 4 2 1 1 10
Reds 3 2 0 1 8
Brumbies 4 2 0 2 8
Sunwolves 4 0 0 4 2
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Highlanders 3 3 0 0 13
Hurricanes 3 2 0 1 10
Crusaders 4 2 0 2 10
Chiefs 3 2 0 1 8
Blues 4 1 0 3 6
Pool SA
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 5 4 0 1 19
Stormers 5 2 0 3 9
Sharks 4 1 1 4 9
Bulls 4 1 0 3 5
Jaguares 4 1 0 3 4