No ‘divided loyalty’ for Lions talisman Orie

Marvin Orie during the Xerox Golden Lions XV mixed zone at Johannesburg Stadium on September 03, 2019 in Johannesburg, South Africa. (Photo by Christiaan Kotze/Gallo Images)

The lock is on Rassie Erasmus’ standby list for the World Cup, but he just wants to win a Currie Cup title…

You wouldn’t blame Marvin Orie for being a bit distracted as this weekend’s Currie Cup final between the Golden Lions and Free State Cheetahs creeps ever closer.

The workhorse lock is one of Rassie Erasmus’ men on standby should the Springboks fall victim to an injury bogey, the type of thought that would keep any player on his toes.

But he insists he won’t be distracted.

“At this moment, the World Cup is not playing on my mind,” Orie said on Tuesday.

“It would be a really dangerous place for me to be mentally and disadvantageous to the Lions too. I have to be honest with my coaches, teammates and myself. All of my focus has been 100% on the Lions these past few weeks since I’ve returned.”

What coach Ivan van Rooyen though wouldn’t want from one of his senior players is him trying to forget everything associated with the national setup.

After all, Orie’s time in that camp arguably enriched him substantially.

And by all accounts the 26-year-old is keen to spread the word on what he learnt under Erasmus and co.

“Over the past two months I’ve learnt a heck of a lot,” said Orie.

“The Springbok coaching setup is packed with men with a lot of knowledge and I had the chance to train and play alongside some world-class players. I’ll try my utmost to share my new insights with my younger teammates. It benefits us all.”

In keeping with the theme of knowledge sharing, Orie will also be expected to prime some of his teammates on what to expect of a Currie Cup showpiece, especially in a cauldron that the City of Roses can be.

The Lions last reached (and won) a domestic final in 2015, leaving Orie, together with prop Jacobie Adriaanse and halfback Ross Cronje as the only men to have previous experience of such an occasion.

Ross Cronje won a Currie Cup title in 2015. (Photo by Gordon Arons/Gallo Images)

“Jacobie and I played for the Blue Bulls in 2016’s final (won 36-16 by the Cheetahs). Ross has won a Currie Cup and coach Ivan was involved too,” said Orie.

“We’ll definitely provide some guidance. I don’t think we’ll change a lot in terms of how we’ll play. At the end of the day, it’s just another game that one needs to win, even if the stakes are a bit higher. We’re all excited.”

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