The Lions ship is currently sailing through turbulent waters, but these hard times could benefit the team in the longer run, insists under-pressure coach Cash van Rooyen.
His charges are still winless on their Super Rugby tour Down Under after first two matches and this weekend another tough assignment awaits them against the resurgent Blues.
“We have a few young guys here who have never been heard of before in this part of the world , a lot of guys who are still under 21- and 22-years-old. All of them have bright futures ahead,” said Van Rooyen.
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“I don’t like to single out individuals but there are about six to eight guys who are 21,22 years of age, with a promising future,” he said.
Van Rooyen admitted the results have forced them to rethink some of their structures and approaches.
“For us as coaches it’s important to stay fresh and remain creative,” he said.
“Whatever we want to achieve, there has to be a bit of planning around it, but again. It’s an exciting challenge for us.”
The rookie Lions mentor, who has established himself as one of South African rugby’s best fitness and conditioning gurus, hopes that leaving Australian shores for a change of scenery will keep the players focused and motivated.
“It’s a new country and I think about half of the squad have never even been in New Zealand before. That generally lifts the energy a little bit,” he said.
“But we can’t rely just on that. It’s up to us to let them gel as quick as possible, to learn and adapt and to understand what 80 minutes of Super Rugby looks and feels like.”
Criticism that the Lions look plan-less was also batted by by their coach, who said they know exactly what to do in order to stop the current rot of four defeats from five games.
“It’s just about little better decision-making on attack and defence, more constant physical pressure. It’s about set-piece attack and defence,” he said.
“It will be nice if there is a W (a win) afterwards on the points table.”