Lions fullback Andries Coetzee knows he’s in a good space when he doesn’t have to speak to head coach Swys de Bruin.
While that may sound strange considering the harmony that exists in the Lions camp, Coetzee believes it’s a sign of maturity within the team’s structures.
The Lions take on the Blues at Ellis Park on Saturday.
“Coach Swys always tells you ‘no news is good news’,” said the Springbok No 15, adding that De Bruin trusts him playing the senior role expected of him due to his status as one of varous national players in the side.
“If he doesn’t really speak to you, then you know you’re fine. I know in our game-plan we call Nos 8, 9, 10 and 15 – normally the okes who make the calls – the spine of our decision-making process. I know that’s one of my duties to know what’s going on, especially on the counter-attack.”
Kriel out for another six months
Lions team management on Wednesday confirmed that due to “unforeseen circumstances”, the surgery on Jaco Kriel’s shoulder was unsuccessful.
As a result, the dynamic flanker will have to go under the knife again on Thursday.
This has put his return back by another six months.
There is much speculation whether this means Kriel won’t play for the union again as his contract expires at the end of this year’s Super Rugby tournament and there’s pronounced interest in his services overseas.
He was first injured in last year’s Rugby Championship Test against the Wallabies in Perth.
Clearly things are going quite swimmingly in that regard but Coetzee is well aware three wins at the start of the season is great but only a start too.
“Teams can lose the first three and still make the final. It’s early and our start counts for little. We know there’s lots of work still to do, you can’t really slack off one week,” he said.
“That’s the nature of the competition, the most difficult in the world. Every week you must do your job, conduct reviews and do homework on the other teams.”
What naturally helps the Lions is the fact that they’ve been handed a good draw, with the first six of their eight games at home.
It shouldn’t though lull them into a false sense of security as away from will be vital too.
At least the Loftus win last weekend was a promising development in that regard.
“I think it’s definitely an advantage to play some of your games at home in the beginning,” said Coetzee.
“It’s a great chance to get a nice start, to gain momentum, but you can’t get into a comfort zone.”