Former Springbok flanker Willem Alberts is set to become a Lions player again next week Photo: Gerry Penny/EPA
Former Springbok flanker Willem Alberts is set to become a Lions player again next week.

The man they call “The Bone Collector” because of his big tackling is expected back in Joburg sometime next week to undergo medical testing at the Lions. 

Alberts has played for Stade Francais for the last four years and before that he turned out for the Sharks and Lions.

Lions chief executive Rudolf Straeuli confirmed yesterday that the 35-year-old would arrive at the Lions next week.

“He will then undergo medicals. No contracts are signed before a player passes the medical tests,” said Straeuli.

Alberts, who is comfortable at lock as well as in the back-row, played for the Lions between 2005 and 2009 and then represented the Sharks on 73 occasions before heading to France. He also played 43 Tests for the Boks. The Lions have already signed another former Bok veteran for next season’s Super Rugby campaign, namely tighthead prop Jannie du Plessis, but Straeuli said there were no plans to sign any other big-name players just yet. Some of the other players signed by the Lions - who were Super Rugby runners-up for three seasons between 2016 and 2018 - include Dan Kriel, Roelof Smit and Jamba Ulengo.

Straeuli also confirmed yesterday that rising loose-forward star Hacjivah Dayimani - currently suffering from an ankle injury which has ruled him out of this weekend’s Sevens tournament in Cape Town - would be available for the Lions in the 2020 Super Rugby campaign despite his squad-based role with the Blitzboks at the moment.

Meanwhile, the Lions are currently wrapping up their pre-Christmas training programme, which concludes at the end of next week before the squad go on leave.

Straeuli said all the coaches involved with the Super Rugby team had signed agreements with the Lions Rugby Company and the Lions would announce the specific roles of the coaches in due course.

Experienced captain Warren Whiteley, who has been ruled out of the 2020 Super Rugby campaign because of injury, will also fill a coaching role next year, but it is not yet known what role that will be.

“Warren will play a role and we will announce this in due course,” is all Straeuli said on the matter.

The Lions kick off their 2020 challenge with a trip to Argentina and date with the Jaguares first-up next year.

@jacq_west 


The Star

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