Some tough decisions need to be made today, Lions coach Swys de Bruin admits after his charges blew the yellow-clad Bulls away with a 66-22 hammering in their Super Rugby warm-up clash at Ellis Park.
With De Bruin due to name his Super Rugby squad, some star performers including centre Manny Rass, flank Marnus Schoeman and loose forward Hacjivah Dayimani showed at the weekend they couldn’t be ignored.
“I wouldn’t want to mention specific names – who stood out for me – as we are on the verge of picking the squad, but there were several good performances on the day,” De Bruin said.
“I want to be able to tell the guys on Monday who is not in the squad and who is going to the SuperSport Rugby Challenge team.”
It was important to keep in mind, according to De Bruin, that both squads had been weakened, with the players fighting for positions in their final line-ups.
“They had 23 guys not playing and we had 19, so as far as that goes, the depth of the (Lions) union is looking good,” he said.
“The form for this time of the year was surprisingly good, as well as the skill levels. That was a positive, but it’s still very early days.”
De Bruin felt the experiment of playing loose forward Schoeman and prop Corne Fourie at hooker had paid off.
“Both of them can play hooker, now we saw it. Marnus is very good in the loose play and Corne in the set play, and they are both doing well, so the plan will work.”
He also expressed his satisfaction with centre Howard Mnisi, who came through the game unscathed.
“Since years back, when Howard was just 19, I backed him,” De Bruin said.
“He is such a talented player, he really inspires the guys around him.”