For experienced Springbok scrumhalf Ross Cronje, the grass is not always greener on the other side, and he believes the Lions should not be seen as a team in trouble following their recent departures.
Cronje, who missed the Lions’ first few games of the season because of an ankle injury, believed they remained a force in the domestic game.
“The Lions will always be in a good place if you have a strong team at the top, which I believe we do,” said Cronje who scored two tries in the 10 Bok Tests he played in 2017 and 2018.
The Lions lost the likes of hooker Malcolm Marx and fullback Tyrone
Green, who used a recent 21-day clause to exit their contracts, while the managing director of their Ellis Park stadium, Edgar Rathbone, had joined the Bulls, and backline coach Neil de Bruin was off to Japan.
The 30-year-old Cronje, however, said he was never tempted to exit the den.
“The Lions have lost a couple of good
players and people, but that’s part of the game,” said Cronje, a former Lions captain who had earned 88 Super Rugby caps since joining them from the Sharks in 2012.
“I decided to stay because I love the Lions and the culture here, and the grass is not always greener on the other side.”
Cronje, who scored two tries in his team’s 2015 Currie Cup final victory, added that he was eager to stay in South Africa for multiple reasons.
“I also have a couple of business ventures that I’m busy with and I would like to have set them up by the time I stop playing rugby,” he said.
“Obviously I think everyone is getting tired of this lockdown but I always try see the positives in every situation.”
Despite the challenges faced by the Covid-19 pandemic, Cronje felt fortunate to be able to spend time with his family.
“I have also been lucky as I live on a farm and I have a lot of space to train and stay fit,” he said.
“The whole world has had pay cuts and everyone is in the same boat, but obviously some are better off than others and I am grateful that we still have jobs.”