VIDEO: Bok coach gave Jo'burg Lions some handy tips
The Johannesburg-based Lions will attempt to give the Springbok management a good look into just how threatening the British and Irish Lions are to the world champions ahead of the three-Test series.
The B&I Lions start their eight-match tour of South Africa with an outing against the struggling Gauteng team at Ellis Park in Johannesburg on Saturday.
That is followed by matches against the Sharks, Bulls, South Africa A and the Stormers – before the first Test against the Boks in Cape Town on July 24.
The Johannesburg-based Lions are generally regarded as the easiest of the tourists’ opposition – with bookmakers suggesting they will lose by 20 points or more.
The hosts have produced the most disappointing results of all four of the Europe-bound South African franchises this year and conceded 39 points in a heavy away loss to the Pumas in the Currie Cup last month.
They bounced back with a win over Western Province at Ellis Park, but critics remain unconvinced of the credentials.
The team’s coach, Ivan Van Rooyen, told a virtual media briefing on Thursday that he has tapped into the ‘intellectual property’ of the Springbok coach, Jacques Nienaber.
Van Rooyen revealed that he had a “good chat” with Nienaber this week.
However, he denied it was a collaborative attempt to ‘ambush’ the tourists.
“As a country, we should get some answers on the way they [B&I Lions] want to play and what their plans are,” he said.
The Johannesburg coach said the game affords teams – including the Boks – another 80 minutes of being able to analyse the tourists.
Asked about the chat with the Bok coach, he said it was just the two coaches – Van Rooyen and Nienaber – adding there was no request for the local Lions to employ specific tactics against the B&I Lions.
“We chatted about things that he saw,” Van Rooyen said, adding that they “shared a bit of IP.”
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He said the Johannesburg-based Lions’ DNA is “very important” to the team and they won’t move away from what is mostly an expansive game.
“In whatever way we can assist the national team, we are willing to go there.
“However, we can’t change the way we play in a week.”
Van Rooyen said they had a “great discussion” in terms of how the Johannesburg Lions want to play, what opportunities there might be in the game and what they can expect from the B&I Lions.
“Was there a discussion of: ‘Because of this, try this’?
“No, there were no such discussions.”