Lions' freakish start to season
REACTION: Lions coach Swys de Bruin was ‘disappointed’ with the late departure gift he was given.
The Lions, who departed for Buenos Aires on Wednesday only, lost the services of loose forward Albertus Smith (calf strain) and lock Stephan Lewies (minor pectoral tear) ahead of their opening match of the season.
De Bruin, speaking to @rugby365com on the eve of the team’s trip – ahead of Saturday’s encounter with the Jaguares – said both players suffered “freakish injuries” in training.
Both were set to start at the Jose Amalfitani Stadium, in Buenos Aires, but were replaced by Rhyno Herbst and Marnus Schoeman.
“We have to look past it and trust their replacements will serve us well,” De Bruin said.
He added that it appears both players will be sidelined for just a week.
He also explained the reasoning behind the team’s late departure.
Previously the Lions had departed the weekend before a match in Argentina.
However, following a change in their travel plans to Australia last year – which proved successful – they delayed their departure to Argentina.
“The reason is that against the Waratahs last year we travelled late and it brought us success,” De Bruin told @rugby365com – making reference to his team’s 29-0 shut-out of the Tahs in Sydney.
The Lions have been unable to win in Buenos Aires before – losing 22-34 in 2016, 24-36 in 2017 and going down 35-49 last year.
“It gives the guys confidence to travel late, so we are going to stick to that,” the coach said of their travel plans.
By Jan de Koning