Mnisi speaks about transformation at Lions

Howard Mnisi of the Lions gets tackled during the Absa Currie Cup semi final match between Xerox Golden Lions and Cell C Sharks at Ellis Park on October 18, 2014 in Johannesburg, South Africa. Picture: Duif du Toit/Gallo Images

Howard Mnisi of the Lions gets tackled during the Absa Currie Cup semi final match between Xerox Golden Lions and Cell C Sharks at Ellis Park on October 18, 2014 in Johannesburg, South Africa. Picture: Duif du Toit/Gallo Images

New Lions captain Howard Mnisi said transformation is the last thing on his mind when he leads the side out on Saturday against the EP Kings in an Absa Currie Cup match.

“It’s a great privilege and we have a great side, it is just unfortunate that Warren is out, but I’m looking forward to the game on Saturday.

“Every team have been putting their good feet forward the last few weeks, after the first game in PE I think the Kings would want to come up here and show they are a better team than that result, so we have to be ready for any situation, and we would want to play our own type of game and not worry too much about them.

“I think for us it’s about adapting to different styles, last week against the Pumas we saw a weakness up front so we changed things a bit, we’ll see how the game pans out, obviously we want to play an expansive game and the backs get more ball now than in the past.

“I think it would be unwise of me to put the transformation message through that I’m a black Lions captain, I have a job to do as skipper and obviously we are all aware of the transformation issues, but I can’t be focusing on those things, I just have to ensure I do my job well, I just want to lead the team well.”

Lions coach Johan Ackermann also said he makes his decisions on merit.

“I can honestly say the players are chosen on merit, the guys have worked hard to be where they are, a guy like Fabian Booysen has grabbed his opportunity with open hands and he showed us now in every game that he played to his full potential now that we have started to work with him and Howard has been immense since he joined the Lions.

“And the fact that I made him captain has nothing to do with his colour, but because of the way he is playing, the way he is leading, and if I look at my team for this weekend he is probably the only player that is an 80-minute player, and that was quite important for me when I made the decision is to have my captain on the field for 80 minutes, and also know the players, know the pattern and lead by example.

“We all want to see more players of colour and we are all positive about it, but I can honestly say I’m happy for players like Howard, MB Lusaseni and Fabian, they are there on merit and fully deserved it.”

 

 

 

 

 

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