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Straeuli won't sweep Lions 'problems' under the carpet

REACTION: Lions Company CEO Rudolf Straeuli is not about to sweep any perceived administrative issues and player unhappiness under the carpet.

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This follows a report that players had given ‘very low’ ratings of the coaching and administrative staff at the franchise.

According to the report by the online portal IOL, based on ‘inside sources’ at the Lions, players gave under-fire coach Ivan van Rooyen a lowly rating of just four out of 10.

Conditioning coach Stefan van Deventer got one, backline, attack, and skills coach Ricardo Laubscher got four, forwards and line-out coach Albert van den Berg and defence Jacques Fourie got seven and eight out of 10.

@rugby365com confirmed that it was all part of a survey conducted by MyPlayers, the organisation of professional players in South Africa – with the bulk of the employers in the country.

However, the accuracy and integrity of the Lions ‘ratings’ could not be confirmed.

My Players are expected to respond to the report at a later stage.

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Lions Company CEO Rudolf Straeuli said he is aware of the survey, but has not personally seen the results and was unwilling to comment on the report.

(Article continues below …)

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“I have faith in the MyPlayers process,” he told @rugby365com, adding: “They are very professional in how they handle these issues.

“It is a process also followed at other franchises, so this is not some witch-hunt at the Lions.

“There is no witch hunt on the players or coaches.

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“When that survey comes back to me and there is unhappiness I will deal with it .

“I won’t sweep it under the carpet.”

Straeuli said he often sees players to discuss contracts and feels that the number of players signing on for contract extensions is an indication that they are happy at the franchise.

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“They see their future here at the Lions.”

The Lions CEO admitted that as a ‘collective’ they are not happy with their position (14th) on the 16-team United Rugby Championship standings.

“We are working very hard on improving that,” he said.

“There was a wash-up after the tour [to Europe],” he said of a month-long road trip that saw them suffer URC losses to Munster (3-33) and Connacht (24-43), with a Challenge Cup defeat against Stade Francais (7-17) and a Euro win against the Dragons (30-25) sandwiched in between.

“We identified the areas in which we need to improve.

“We didn’t get the desired result against the Sharks [this past weekend],” he said of the 7-29 loss at Ellis Park this past weekend, adding: “[But] I am not going to wash dirty laundry in the media.

“There is no value in me critiquing individuals in public – be that a player or coach.”

He admitted the Lions Company’s flagship team is in dire need of a boost

“While the Stormers’ flagship team is doing well, people forget about all the boardroom drama.

“We have the support of the Chairman [Altmann Allers] and the directors, while as management we support the team.

“We know it is all about performance,” he said about the struggling team.”

@king365ed
@rugby365com

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