Rudolph Jacobs
Rugby journalist
1 minute read
13 Mar 2014
9:00 am

MB adds roar to Lions forwards

Rudolph Jacobs

Lured from the Leopards, MB Lusaseni was an unknown figure when he was thrown into Super Rugby's deep end at the Lions – but the powerful lock has learned to swim quickly.

FILE PIC. MB Lusaseni of the Leopards on his way to score his try during the Absa Currie Cup match between Platinum Leopards and Ford Pumas from Profert Olen Park on August 05, 2011 in Potchefstroom, South Africa.Photo by Duif du Toit / Gallo Images

Lusaseni, 25, has come off the bench over the last three weeks, replacing Franco Mostert in the last 20 minutes, and his workrate has been impressive.

“I was a newcomer to the Lions scene when I joined the team the end of last season,” said Lusaseni this week after completing one of the team’s gruelling sessions in pouring rain.

“But the way they just took me in and made me part of the family has been awesome. The team spirit has been awesome, regardless how many caps you have.”

Born in East London, Lusaseni, at 1.95m and 105kg, is equally at home at No 7 flank and lock and started playing for the Sharks and Griquas before earning 47 caps for the Leopards. In 2011 he also turned out for Tuks in the Varsity Cup and played for Pukke last season.

And MB? Even though his real name is Luvuyiso?

“Not sure why, it has stuck for years and I’ve become used to it,” Lusaseni chuckled, who played for the SA Schools in 2006 and the SA Under-20s in 2008.

“Now we are looking towards the Blues, to get back to winning ways. Although we are prepared, they are a team who love the open game.”

Lusaseni has made an impression on Johan Ackermann, who admitted the big man played himself into the squad. “The coach is very open to us players, but made it clear the jersey is not the property of one player, it has to be earned,” said Lusaseni.