Lions

Eloff is thinking ahead

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Lions coach Eugene Eloff will be looking to build on the team’s outstanding performance in this years’ Absa Currie Cup as the side head into the 2008 Super 14 competition.

“I wasn’t supposed to be, but when I woke up this morning I was already thinking about the Super 14,” Eloff told this website.

“The whole deal as a coach is that when the Currie Cup season finishes you have to start looking ahead to the Super 14. We have shown that we can be competitive in the Currie Cup, but now we have to translate that success to the bigger competition.

“We’re looking to make sure that we keep improving,” he added.

Ironically the Lions will be revisiting the scene of their narrow 18-20 loss in the Currie Cup Final when they head to Bloemfontein to play their opening Super 14 game against the Cheetahs.

However, this time round it will be a different Lions team and a different competition.

The Lions have added a number of new faces to their ranks – including props Eugene Maqwelena (Cape Town) and Gert van der Merwe (University of Pretoria), Border flank Ntjuna Kaunda, as well as Mighty Elephants stars Reginald [RW] Kember (No.8), Chris Jonck (scrum-half) and Michael Killian (fly-half).

Wingers Wigan Pikeur (Maties) and Heini Gordon (Villagers) also join the side, while more notable signings include former Sharks winger Dusty Noble – a South African Sevens star – and flanker Gerhard Human.

Human is the son of Blue Bulls Currie Cup coach Pote Human.

The other interesting signing is that of Falcons lock Dewald Senekal. Senekal was initially drafted into the Sharks training squad for the 2007 Super 14, but failed to make the final cut and later joined the Cheetahs.

Those leaving the side are prop Lawrence Sephaka, who is heading to France to play for club side Toulon, and Wylie Human who heads to Cape Town to join Western Province.

Geo Cronj’ – who suffered a horrific eye injury this year – is believed to be considering bowing out of rugby, while Flanker Solly Tyibilika’s future remains uncertain.

The Lions will be taking two weeks off before they are back on the training field preparing for the Super 14.

By Gareth Green 365 Digital

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