Lions' formula to remain intact says Fourie
IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Don’t expect too many changes to the Lions’ formula, new assistant coach Jaque Fourie revealed.
Friday’s United Rugby Championship opener against Zebre will be Fourie’s first match as defence coach after he joined the Lions on September 1.
Aside from Fourie, Lions also bolstered their coaching staff with Albert van den Berg (forwards and line-outs coach) and Ricardo Loubscher (backline, attack and skills coach).
Ivan van Rooyen retained the title of head coach.
Speaking to reporters in a virtual media briefing, Fourie admitted it has been a challenge for the new coaches to introduce new ideas given the limited time ahead of that clash against Zebre.
“After the Currie Cup it was only two weeks before we left for Italy and it does make preparations challenging,” Fourie said.
“However for us, the basic stuff stays the same with a tweak here and there.
“We tried to keep most of the stuff the same because loads of changes will be disruptive.”
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Currie Cup ghost
Fourie is adamant that the Johannesburg outfit has successfully buried their Currie Cup season, which saw them finished last in the seven-team competition after they managed just two wins from 12 outings.
“We had to put all that behind us very quickly because we are not going into a Currie Cup again. We going into an international competition.
“We had to make sure everyone is on the same page and determine our goals for the next few weeks.
“I think we really want to kick-off our first match with a positive win.”
Fourie added: “The games we have been watching of Zebre was played a very long time ago, so we are entering the unknown.
“We don’t know if Zebre made any squad changes.
“But we are focusing on ourselves, our structures and what we want to do and what we want to achieve.”
*READ: SA squads for URC
Lions centre Wandisile Simelane shared Fourie’s sentiments, stating he is very excited about the new task in Europe.
“I’m very excited about the competition,” Simelane said.
“Playing against different opposition and travelling to different countries is exciting.
“I think our whole focus is basically on this weekend’s game and us achieving a positive result against Zebre.
“We are not really focused on external factors and what’s going on elsewhere.”
The side opens their four-week tour of Europe with a match against Italian side Zebra on Friday.
Followed by fixtures against Scarletts (Wales), Glasgow Warriors (Scotland) and Ulster (Ireland).