Lions coach backs calls for stronger cup squads
● Calls for match-day squads in the Currie Cup to be increased from 22 to 23 players are intensifying after Golden Lions coach Swys de Bruin added his voice to the debate yesterday.
Western Province coach John Dobson voiced concerns at SA Rugby’s policy to have one less player in match-day squads than the prescribed number set by World Rugby, the sport’s governing body.
“I’m with Dobbo 100%. I agree. It should be the same as Super Rugby.
“It should be a safety factor. It is just much better for the team in the event of injuries,” said De Bruin.
Currie Cup coaches can select only seven instead of eight substitutes, which affects the number of front rankers they can earmark for the bench.
World Rugby wants teams to have a full complement of front rankers on the bench, but Currie Cup coaches often select just one prop as they struggle to plug holes else-
“I'm with Dobbo 100%. I agree. It should be the same as Super Rugby”
SWYS DE BRUIN Golden Lions coach
where among their reserves.
“It will be great if we can get 23-man squads,” reminded Lions forwards consultant Victor Matfield.
De Bruin added that the change profoundly affected how coaches assembled their teams.
“You will box totally differently in your selections,” he said.
De Bruin has included full frontrow cover on the bench for the match against the Blue Bulls at Ellis Park tomorrow.
It includes fit-again Dylan Smith, who sustained a serious shoulder injury in Buenos Aires during the Super Rugby campaign.
Lock Andries Ferreira returns after the birth of his daughter last week.
In a change on the bench, Shaun Reynolds comes in for Branco du Preez, who rejoins the Blitzbokke.