Everything is under control.
That was the assurance given to Lions supporters by franchise chief Rudolf Straeuli after it was confirmed that the side’s head coach, Swys de Bruin, won’t be with them for the remainder of their Super Rugby tour.
Not that the Lions seemed particularly inconvenienced as they battled their way to a superb 23-17 victory over the Chiefs in Hamilton this past weekend.
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“There was no fall-out (between Swys and the union). He returned home because of a medical condition, and we respect that,” said Straeuli told IOL.
“There’s no reason for any panic, there’s nothing to be concerned about. Ivan van Rooyen will take charge of the team and he also has strong leaders around him who know the team set-up. Warren Whiteley is also back and we know what a good leader he is.”
Van Rooyen, who is still the side’s head of conditioning, took the reigns in last year’s Currie Cup campaign.
Meanwhile, De Bruin backed up his boss in stating that he’s been afforded a breather to treat a “medical condition”.
“I can guarantee you there has been no breakdown in the relationship between me and anyone in the team or at the union,” he said.
“This is a personal matter and I’m receiving professional help for it. It was our team doctor, Rob Collins, after I’d first spoken to my wife and Rudolf, who actually said it would be best for me to return home. It was in my and the team’s best interests.”
A weekend report had speculated that De Bruin was suffering from a stress related illness.
The Lions play their nemesis the Crusaders on Friday and will have most of their senior players in harness, but influential hooker Malcolm Marx has flown home to rest as prescribed by Springbok protocol.