Kriel: Players 'delighted' with Swys' appointment

Fri, 14 Jul 2017 10:54

IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Lions flank Jaco Kriel - along with his teammate - fully supports the appointment of  Zacharia Francois de Bruin as coach. Josh Isaacson reports.

The Lions confirmed on Tuesday that De Bruin will replace current coach Johan Ackermann - who is on his way to Gloucester in England  - at the end of the 2017 season.

However, before his exit, the Johannesburg-based side will want to to give Ackermann the perfect send off with the play-off looming.

In the absence of regular captain Warren Whitely due to injury, Jaco Kriel will skipper the side for their clash against the Sharks on Saturday. 

The flank stated that Ackermann's presence will definitely be missed, but looks forward to working with De Bruin.

"Definitely going to miss coach Akkies [Johan Ackermann]," Kriel told reporters.

"However, going forward I really think coach Swys is the man for the job. He knows the players, he knows the culture and he knows how everything works. He ticks all the right boxes," Kriel added.

Ackermann echoed Kriel's sentiments and praised his colleague De Bruin's coaching prowess. De Bruin joined the Lions in 2013 as an assistant coach and has guided the once relegated Super Rugby side to one of the best in the competition. 

He reassured Lions supporters that De Bruin's knowledge of the team's culture will make the transition from coaches easier on the players.

"I’m very pleased with Swys' appointment," Ackermann said.

"We came a long way. I know how the players feel about him and it’s great that his going to be in charge.

"He was the assistant coach for a long time, so this is well deserved. He is experienced and most importantly he is part of the culture that we’ve built at the franchise.

"He knows how the players think and what how to get the best out of them," Ackermann added.

The Lions either host the New Zealand side Highlanders or fellow South Africans the Sharks in the quarter-finals - depending on Round 17 results.  

By Josh Isaacson
@isaacson_j

@rugby365com

 

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Sat, 19 August 2017
Australia v New Zealand 34 | 54
Fri, 18 August 2017
Western Province v Golden Lions 39 | 3
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Golden Lions v Sharks 31 | 47
Western Province v Blue Bulls 45 | 34
Free State Cheetahs v Griquas 25 | 30
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Western Province v Pumas 34 | 19
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Free State Cheetahs v Western Province 30 | 17
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Sharks v Pumas 29 | 0
Lions v Hurricanes 44 | 29
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Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 15 6 0 9 34
Force 15 6 0 9 26
Reds 15 4 0 11 21
Waratahs 15 4 0 11 19
Rebels 15 1 1 13 9
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Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 15 14 0 1 63
Hurricanes 15 12 0 3 58
Chiefs 15 12 1 2 57
Highlanders 15 11 0 4 51
Blues 15 7 1 7 37
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Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 15 10 0 5 43
Cheetahs 15 4 0 11 21
Bulls 15 4 0 11 20
Sunwolves 15 2 0 13 12
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 15 14 0 1 65
Sharks 15 9 1 5 42
Jaguares 15 7 0 8 33
Kings 15 6 0 9 28