JOHANNESBURG – The Lions won’t only be going all out to beat the Waratahs in their first Super Rugby tour game in Sydney tomorrow but will also hope to get the better of the customary jet leg that sets in when flying across time zones.
Swys de Bruin and his charges only left OR Tambo International airport late on Tuesday in an effort to give themselves their best chance of starting the gruelling trip on a winning note.
They also travel to Brisbane for a clash with the Reds and then head to New Zealand, where they face the Highlanders and Hurricanes.
The Lions have in the past travelled to Australasia around a week before their first match, but team doctor Rob Collins explained this week they are doing things differently this time.
“What we’re essentially doing is trying to beat jet lag,” he said before the team’s departure to Australia.
“By doing this we’re staying in South African time until the match, which means changing eating times and sleeping patterns. It’s something that’s been scientifically worked out, so we should be good.”
Coach De Bruin added: “We’ll stay in our time and then adapt to the difference (in time) after the game, before we head up to Brisbane.”
The Emirates Lions have arrived safely in Sydney.
Head over to our Instagram page, where Backline coach, @neil9x is doing a takeover ahead of the Waratahs clash this week!#LetsUnite #TheLionsWay #LionsOnTour pic.twitter.com/5q6hlrdrMZ
The Lions enjoyed plenty of success in Australia last year, winning all three games against the Force, Rebels and Brumbies, but De Bruin said the Waratahs would prove a completely different challenge.
“They’re a very good side... they’ve won five, lost one and drawn one, and are sitting very pretty in their conference.
“They play an all-round brand of rugby; they’ve got a really good scrum and let’s not forget about that monster winger of theirs (Taqele Naiyaravoro).”
“There’s good balance in their team and they’re a team that’s definitely on the up. We’re going to have to bring our A game on Friday night (11.45am SA time kick-off).”
The Lions boss added they had not targeted any teams on tour and would take things one week at a time. The Lions go into the clash off a bye and a win against the Stormers before that, while the Tahs beat the Reds 37-16 last weekend.