The former SA Under-21 star was afforded a handful of opportunities in Super Rugby this year to get a taste of the big time, but niggling injuries curtailed his campaign and he’ll hope to get stuck in during the Currie Cup. With Lionel Mapoe, Harold Vorster and Franco Naude no longer on their books, to go with Rohan Janse van Rensburg and Howard Mnisi that left last year, so there’s a big chance for Simelane to grab a midfield spot in the Currie Cup for the Lions. He can also play on the wing, which will boost his chances of getting regular game time.
A former Wits Varsity Cup team-mate of Simelane’s, Green was one of the real finds for the Lions in the recent Super Rugby competition. He only got his chance midway through the campaign, but grabbed his opportunity and showed he could be a real force in future. Gutsy, determined and full of spirit and heart, the 21-year-old will hope to get a chance on the wing, at fullback, in midfield or even at flyhalf in the coming weeks. Green is a versatile player who the Lions will want to play as much as possible ahead of Super Rugby next year.
It’s hard to believe the dynamic loose forward is only 21-years-old. He has been part of the Lions senior set-up for two years already and is set to play a major role in the team. He enjoyed an up-and-down Super Rugby campaign, never quite settling, and also ran out in the Rugby Challenge at centre. With so many seasoned backline players now gone from the Lions, one wonders whether Dayimani’s future isn’t going to be in the midfield. Either way, the former Jeppe pupil has a chance in the coming weeks and months to become a real star in SA rugby.
It doesn’t look like Kwagga Smith will feature in Super Rugby next year and he may also only play a limited role in the Currie Cup this year, while Warren Whiteley’s injury problems will be of some concern to the Lions, so there’s a good chance Tshituka could see plenty of game time in the coming weeks and months. The rookie loose forward enjoyed a memorable debut Super Rugby season this year, and could become a regular in the coming months, playing anywhere in the back row. He could even slot in at lock, with the Lions needing a partner for Marvin Orie.
Hooker is going to be a major area of concern for the Lions coaching team – now in the Currie Cup and going forward to next year’s Super Rugby competition. Malcolm Marx won’t play for the Lions for some time as he will be involved with the Boks until the end of the year and then join up with a Japanese club until June next year. And, veteran back-up man Robbie Coetzee has also moved on. Campher, who was Marx’s back-up this year, now has a wonderful chance to become the team’s number one No 2.@jacq_west