Sport

Rudolph Jacobs
Rugby Journalist
2 minute read
3 Jun 2021
2:36 pm

‘Simelane excited to move in Bok circles’ – Lions coach

Rudolph Jacobs

The exciting centre is expected to be named in the 45-man Springbok group for the matches against Georgia and the British and Irish Lions.

Lions centre Wandisile Simelane has been included in the Springbok squad for the first time. Picture: Anton Geyser/Gallo Images

With Springbok selection just around the corner, centre Wandisile Simelane is set to enhance his growing reputation against the Sharks at Ellis Park in the Rainbow Cup on Saturday.

Lions coach Cash van Rooyen said on Thursday Simelane’s star is shining brighter all the time.

“For Wandi, and any player, it’s a big honour to be involved with the national team and he is very excited to move in those circles,” said Van Rooyen.

“That level of professionalism and information is invaluable; it will be great for him and he could bring that all back to our team.”

Looking ahead to the match, Van Rooyen said he wasn’t reading too much into the fact the Sharks are resting a number of big-name players.

“We are all part of the process to prepare players for the Boks and those players fall in that category,” said Van Rooyen.

“But no team will select a side which they think won’t be competitive,” he said.

ALSO READ: Mapimpi back for Sharks as coach rests several Bok stars

Centre Burger Odendaal has been retained as captain after leading the side to a win against the Bulls last time out and he said the Lions are ready to build on that last showing.

“The guys are starting to understand one another better on the field and there is a big focus to get even better from this point on,” said Odendaal.

As part of the consistency in selection, only one change had been made to the team, with centre Dan Kriel replacing Manny Rass on the bench.

Lions: EW Viljoen; Rabz Maxwane, Wandisile Simelane, Burger Odendaal (capt), Courtnall Skosan; Jordan Hendrikse, André Warner; Len Massyn, Vincent Tshituka, MJ Pelser, Reinhard Nothnagel, Ruben Schoeman, Carlu Sadie, Jaco Visagie, Sti Sithole. Bench: PJ Botha, Ruan Dreyer, Asenathi Ntlabakanye, Willem Alberts, Emmanuel Tshituka, Morné van den Berg, Fred Zeilinga, Dan Kriel.