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VIDEO: There's another 'Bomb Squad' in South Africa

REACTION: Assistant coach Julian Redelinghuys believes the Lions have developed their own ‘Bomb Squad’ with their depth in the front row.


That ‘Bomb Squad’ term was adopted by the Springboks’ during their 2019 World Cup campaign when they selected a six/two bench split.

While the term has more commonly been used to refer to Boks’ bench in general, it is still heavily associated with their ability to swap their front row or tight five without losing any of their dominance.

The Lions have shown that they can interchange their big props against some strong opposition and Redelinghuys is proud of it.

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“I’ve said this before, I believe the strength of this pack is down to the competition between the guys,” said Redelinghuys ahead of his team’s United Rugby Championship Round 15 clash against Munster.

“If you look at our tightheads, we’ve got [Ruan] Dreyer, Asa [Asenathi Ntlabakanye], Ruan Smith, Beertjie [Conraad van Vuuren], so we’ve got great tightheads and then with the looseheads, we’ve got Morgan [Naude] and JP [Smith].


“These guys scrum against each other every week and they make each other better.

“I think all of us have watched Chasing the Sun [documentary] and that is what you can see with the Boks as well.

“Their toughest scrumming opposition is on Wednesdays, not on Saturdays.

“These guys push each other really hard in the week and make each other better. It’s lekker.


“We can use our impact players to come on like a [bomb squad]. You can bring them on and expect the same set-piece [dominance] and then if they are up against a second-string front row, we should get more dominance.

“It’s something we still want to get better at.”

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Redelinghuys says the opposition will determine who starts and who plays off the bench.

“When you look at the Springboks’ selection, you could see that as well. You could see subtle rotations.

“For us, it’s about what the game needs and there are a lot of things to consider.

“The scrum is a big part of a front row’s job but it’s also about how we play on the weekend and what we expect from them [opposition].

“It’s selecting the best guys for what we expect the game to be and how the game will end, so it is a little bit of strategy from our side.

“It’s not necessarily ‘this is the best guy or second-best guy’. It’s about the best player and combinations for this specific game.”

The Lions are coming off a 44-12 win over Leinster in the United Rugby Championship.

Heading into that match with Munster, the Lions are currently in 11th position, but they are level on points (39) with Edinburgh (eighth), Connacht (ninth) and Ulster (tenth).


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