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Lions to make 'hard calls' to turn things around

SPOTLIGHT: Lions forwards coach Albert van den Berg says some “hard calls” need to be made if his team are to become a force in Europe.

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The Johannesburg side are currently on a four-game losing streak in all competitions and they now head into their Round Four Challenge Cup game against the Dragons in Newport needing a win to qualify for the knockouts.

There have been suggestions that the Lions are suffering from an “identity crisis” with their inconstant style of play, but Van den Berg rubbished that notion.

Van der Berg, along with Jaque Fourie and Ricardo Loubscher, joined the coaching team in September 2021 and believes there is still a building process going on.

“I wouldn’t say there is an identity crisis. I think the biggest thing from our side, when we joined the Lions, is to actually see what the path forward was and what is the succession plan regarding the players,” said Van den Berg.

“We can’t just get players at the last minute and make it work. We need to build the culture.

“We need to build a team here and get that consistency in.

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“You are not always going to get the wins straight from the start, but we want to start playing a brand of rugby we can relate to.

“An identity crisis is not really there. It’s more a case of finding our feet and making sure that we get our recruitment process sorted and making sure that we get our training sorted.

“We also need to make sure that the guys in the team understand their roles and what is needed from them and build that package up.”

Van den Berg can see his team getting stronger if they meet those targets.

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“If we can get that whole process gelling together going forward then the road forward will look brighter for us,” he added.

“There is a bit of work to do.

“Some hard calls need to be made, but you have to make those calls going forward.

“You can’t come with the same excuse every year”.

Van den Berg revealed that his team will have a full squad to choose from for Sunday’s match.

He revealed that flyhalf Jordan Hendrikse is fit and ready and they have also flown in Pieter Jansen van Vuren to provide extra cover for the pack.

@rugby365com

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