JOHANNESBURG – Three-time Super Rugby runners-up, the Lions, and their head coach, Swys de Bruin, have parted ways.
De Bruin took charge of the Super Rugby side two years ago when then boss Johan Ackermann left South Africa to coach Gloucester in England. Before that he was Ackermann’s right-hand man for five years.
With the duo in charge, the Lions played in three successive Super Rugby finals – between 2016 and 2018. Under the guidance of Ackermann and De Bruin, the Lions became South Africa’s top franchise and that just a few years after they’d actually been booted out of the competition in 2013 because of their poor results.
The Lions said in a statement on Friday that both parties had agreed to the separation.
De Bruin has had a difficult year. While the Lions were on tour in New Zealand in the Super Rugby campaign he suffered a mental breakdown and returned home, leaving the team to be coached by conditioning coach Ivan van Rooyen. He sought medical intervention in South Africa and later returned to his job.