JOHANNESBURG – He is one of South Africa’s most promising tighthead props but with two Springboks ahead of him in the queue at the Stormers, Carlu Sadie had to find a new home.
The Lions called and he answered; now it’s up to him to grab his chance in Johannesburg.
The 21-year-old, who played for the South Africa Under-20 team for two years in 2016 and 2017 and made nine appearances for the Stormers last season (mainly from the bench), is one of two new tighthead props in the Lions set-up ahead of this year’s Super Rugby competition.
The other is Frans van Wyk, who went to school in Johannesburg, but was on the books of the Bulls until now. Sadie and Van Wyk were recruited following the departure at the end of last season of stalwarts Ruan Dreyer and Jacques van Rooyen, who now both play in England.
Sadie said he was ready to step up and make the most of the chance that has come his way.
“Coach Swys (de Bruin) approached me last year already... I was stuck behind two Boks at the Stormers (Frans Malherbe and Wilco Louw), and the Lions said they wanted to have a future with me, so I decided to come up here,” said the stocky prop.
“It’s a big move for me, coming up from the Cape where I grew up. But I know there’s a chance here now (with Dreyer and Van Rooyen gone). I like the culture in the team, what the Lions stand for, and already I feel settled.”
While Sadie started for the Lions in last Sunday’s friendly against the Sharks in Cape Town, suggesting he may have the inside lane to the No 3 jersey, he said there was plenty of competition in the squad for a rare vacant position in a successful and fairly settled Lions team.
“Getting into the team is going to depend on how much work one puts in,” he said. “Anyone can be replaced at any time and there are some quality players here.”
Besides Sadie and Van Wyk, who have joined the Lions since the end of last year, the Lions’ other prop options are the fit-again Dylan Smith, veteran Jacobie Adriaanse and rookies Danie Mienie and Johannes Jonker.