Lions ‘won’t quit’ until they’ve won Super Rugby

Lions players and management team during the Emirates Lions media briefing at The White House on January 16, 2020 in Johannesburg, South Africa. (Photo by Sydney Seshibedi/Gallo Images)

A bullish, but also sobering message from Altman Allers, a man who effectively bankrolls the men from Ellis Park

The Lions won’t quit until they have won Super Rugby Altman Allers, the chairman of the Golden Lions board of directors, said in Parktown on Thursday.

Allers spoke at the Lions’ squad announcement for Superhero Sunday’s clash against the Bulls at FNB Stadium.

“If we are not successful we will try again and keep on trying until we have won that trophy,” said Allers.

“We are going to give it our best and we are going to work very hard to be successful in season one of coach Ivan ‘Cash’ van Rooyen’s tenure.

“That is what we set ourselves out to achieve, that is one goal that we are missing at the Lions, we haven’t held that trophy yet. We got close a few times, but we haven’t been there yet,” he said.

Despite some observers still arguing the Lions are in transition, Allers believes the men from Ellis Park have the makings of not only a good team in 2020 but a great one.

“So hopefully at the end of the season we can look back at that day in January

“This is the start of a new season and it’s going to be a very important season, not only for the Lions but for all Super Rugby franchises in South Africa.

“It’s been quite a while since we last held the trophy in SA, the last time was 2010 with the Bulls, so it’s been 10 years.”

It’s a sobering thought from the businessman, who pointed out that only Morne Steyn – back at the Bulls – is a current player that still has experience of lifting the Super Rugby silverware.

“We have a few players left at the Lions who had played in three finals and that is an achievement I’m very proud of.

“But I think it’s time that we as a whole as a rugby community in SA start looking very closely at Super Rugby and what we want to do with the competition.

“Do we just want to be contestants, do we want to compete or do we definitely want to win it?”

Lions CEO Rudolf Straeuli added his voice and said the team has the opportunity to create new memories.

“The 2020 competition gives us the opportunity to do something different,” he said.

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