Lions remain in rebuilding phase

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Lions_EllisPark8 Gallo Images The Lions have fired their two assistant coaches, while head coach John Mitchell is on suspension.

If I was given R100 every time I heard someone at the Lions say “we’re in a building phase” or “we’ve got to be patient” I’d be a rich man. Well not that rich, but you know what I mean.

And I’ll give R100 to any charity if one of those phrases doesn’t get spoken by a coach, player or administrator at the Lions by the end of the season. Hell, I’ll give R1000 to a charity of the Lions’ choice if a fellow scribe can vouch that no one at the union says anything along these lines come the end of the year.

I know my money is safe … because we’re more than likely to hear the word “building” fairly soon. I mean, really, the Lions have an interim coach in Johan Ackermann in charge, they don’t have any established assistant coaches now that Carlos Spencer has been fired and their fitness guru, Wayne Taylor, is also in the wilderness.

The team is also going to have a new captain when the Currie Cup season kicks off this weekend as Joshua Strauss has been asked to step aside. Now surely one of the new coaches and the captain will talk about rebuilding – again – in the next few weeks. It’s inevitable.

The problem is that, with the amount of rebuilding the Lions have been doing since Laurie Mains left the union 10 years ago, you’d think they’d be a huge powerhouse. Sadly, all of the rebuilding has only done the opposite – the Lions are in a worse position than they were 10 years ago when the rebuilding started.

In this time they’ve had numerous presidents, CEOs, coaches and captains and their best players have moved elsewhere.

And just when one thought those in charge at the Lions had realised the mistakes of the past and were adamant to not make them again, they go and break down whatever it was they’d built under John Mitchell in the last two years. No one outside of a few people at Lions HQ and Mitchell know the severity of the charges the former coach is facing but, irrespective of what he’s done, why get rid of him and Spencer and Taylor? Are they the only ones to be blamed for the Lions’ poor Super Rugby showing?

Now the union are back to square one, and the rebuilding process starts all over again. What a waste then the last two years were, bar the winning of the Currie Cup in a season when most other competitors were severely weakened.

Some of the decisions taken by the Lions administration continue to boggle the mind. The sad thing is it is again the players and the fans who are losing out – and they deserve better. – The Star

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