“We Believe We Have Eight To Ten Guys That Can Become A Springbok” – Ivan van Rooyen


Lions head coach Ivan van Rooyen praised the execution and freedom of the team on the attack in a nine-try 61-19 mauling of Zebre Parma on Saturday.

“It’s been a tough week in terms of travel, coming back to 35 degrees, and seeing a performance like that makes you proud," said van Rooyen.

“The performances have been good enough to get points early on, unfortunately, we couldn’t. But I think the last two, three games it’s a lot better from us in terms of constant pressure, but also converting that into points."

“It has been a work-on and instead of chasing your tail for the last 20, 30 minutes it was nice being on the other side.”

When questioned Lions head coach Ivan van Rooyen said he believes he has players that can play a big role for the Springboks.

“We believe we have eight to 10 guys that can be involved with the Boks in the next cycle, in terms of the more junior guys.”

““We are confident in the sense that the next generation [of Springboks] could come from our team.”

“If the World Cup is sitting in the cabinet, I think what we are doing is working. I think the main priority stays the Springboks and I think that is also important for the country," Van Rooyen told reporters after Saturday’s win.

“Obviously we are not in the position to lose players or get players. If you look at the Sharks, I think they got eight players back and obviously that will make a difference in your team, but it also tests your depth a little bit."

“Any team that plays without eight or nine of their best players will feel it a little bit, but I think for a South African franchise that it will build depth and we get exposure to the future superstars."

“I think in the short term it is challenging, but in the long term I think it is still good for South African rugby.”