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'Interesting tactics': Lions coach opens up on duo's move to Durban

SPOTLIGHT: Lions head coach Ivan van Rooyen says there is no time to get “emotional” about young players leaving the franchise for rival teams.


Last week the Sharks confirmed that flyhalf Jordan Hendrikse and loose forward Emmanuel Tshituka will be heading to Durban next season.

Those players played influential roles in the Lions’ 40-10 victory over the Sharks in a United Rugby Championship encounter over the weekend.

After the match, the Lions coach was asked for his thoughts on those player transfers.

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“We can’t get emotional about that,” said Van Rooyen.

“We also spoke about it in the team.


“Rugby is also a business and it happened.

“You never want to lose players and you never want to lose that kind of players.

“They got huge potential; they are great guys to have in the team and they are just nice guys to be around.

He added: “Obviously, we are sad about losing them and it was interesting tactics [by the Sharks], but we can’t let that influence us.”


Meanwhile, the URC takes a break for the next couple of weeks due to the final rounds of the Six Nations.

When it resumes the Lions will be on tour where they will face Connacht and the Ospreys before a trip to Italy for a Challenge Cup Round of 16 tie against Benetton.

“The interesting fact is that all the teams that we are going to play are above us, whether it’s URC or EPCR,” said Van Rooyen.

“We really enjoy touring. It’s a great time for us to spend together and it’s a great time for us to go there and keep evolving our game.

“To tour before that [home] run is nice for us.

“We then return and play Leinster, Munster and the Glasgow here [in Johannesburg].

“I think it’s good, especially after the mental growth we experienced over the last two weeks at home.”



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