Swys and Lions part ways
NEWS: The Lions have parted ways with long-standing coach Swys de Bruin.
The split comes after a seven-year association between De Bruin and the Lions.
De Bruin had initially served as an assistant coach under Johan Ackermann and later as head coach.
The split comes at the end of a tumultuous year for De Bruin in which he twice walked out on teams – first the Lions during Super Rugby and then the Springboks, on the eve of the World Cup.
De Bruin has been struggling with a stress-related medical condition.
In a statement, the Lions Rugby Company (Pty) Ltd said the decision is “mutual” and “amicably”.
“Swys has made a groundbreaking contribution in the style of play and attacking patterns to the team whereby memorable tries have been scored at Ellis Park,” Lions CEO Rudolf Straeuli said.
“On behalf of the management, players, and supporters we thank him and wish him well in his future endeavours,” he added.
During his tenure, the Lions won the Vodacom Cup in 2013, the Currie Cup in 2015 and reached the Super Rugby finals is 2016, 2017 and 2018.
“It was an unbelievable seven years with the Lions family,” De Bruin said.
“Thank you to everyone who made it special and memorable. I pray for the team to receive God’s blessings.
“The Lions will always have a special place in my heart, and always remember as a team we play to score tries and inspire people by the way we play,” he added.
The Lions said they will proceed with an internal process and will consult with SA Rugby as well as other stakeholders in the appointment of a successor.