JOHANNESBURG – Lions boss Swys de Bruin will continue to receive professional help in his efforts to deal with stress.
De Bruin said on Thursday he didn’t realise he was a “control freak” after suffering a breakdown while leading the Lions on their three-match tour of Australasia recently. He left the squad to return to Johannesburg on the eve of the second tour match, against the Chiefs in Hamilton.
At the time, the Lions said De Bruin was suffering from a “medical condition”, but it later emerged that he was stressed and needed help to deal with the pressures of his job.
“I was hoping this was something I could get rid of quickly, but I can’t, and I’m going to get help again next week and the weeks after that,” said De Bruin, who has been head coach of the Lions since the beginning of last year.
“I didn’t realise that I am a control freak, and if I can’t control things, it affects me. I’m learning how to deal with that.
“I take stuff to heart; I make things personal... that’s what happened. You don’t see it coming.
“It has probably come over a long period, rather than something specific that happened, and I just didn’t realise it. This sort of thing happens to a lot of guys.
“Now I know better how to react, and to also not get over-excited about things.”
De Bruin returned to the training ground this week, after taking a few weeks off.
“It’s great to be back, and I’m thankful to everyone for understanding what happened,” he said.
“I have said enough about it now. But what happened is the same as what can happen to a player, or another guy, who has a problem. I’ve handled it, and I’m back.
“I have realised that this thing does happen, and I am getting professional help for it. I’m feeling good right now.”
De Bruin said he was still on track to work alongside Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus in the build-up and at the World Cup in Japan later this year.
“It’s all fine with the Boks. I am going to the World Cup as the attack coach, and looking forward to that. But, I think the focus must now be on this team.”
The Lions host the Waratahs in a round 13 Super Rugby match at Ellis Park on Saturday.@jacq_west