Ross Roche
Senior sports writer
2 minute read
9 Jan 2022
1:01 pm

Lions in it to win it, says Currie Cup boss Nkosi

Ross Roche

"From a competition point of view we want to be as competitive as possible."

Lions flyhalf Jordan Hendrikse is coming back from a long injury-layoff and may end up playing Currie Cup rugby first before joining the UIRC team. Picture: Richard Huggard/Gallo Images

The Lions are fully focused on a successful Currie Cup campaign despite having a largely young and inexperienced side in action.

With the union splitting their forces on two fronts, with the main senior team playing in the United Rugby Championship, a youthful side will be tasked with winning the Currie Cup, which gets underway later this month.

“Our objectives for this competition are twofold. The bigger picture goal is to expose up and coming senior pros to the rigors of first class rugby, for our union that’s the main objective,” explained head coach Mziwakhe Nkosi.

“But from a competition point of view we want to be as competitive as possible and we believe we should make it into the play-offs and can hopefully go on to win it.”

ALSO READ: Lions youngsters get chance to impress in Currie Cup

Nkosi will be backed by an experienced management group, who will be tasked with getting as much out of the young side as they can.

“We are really blessed to have a management group that gets along very well. Most of the senior management have worked together for years,” said Nkosi.

“Wessel Roux is a Springbok, he’s won Super Rugby titles with the Bulls as a player and has won Currie Cups as a coach. Phillip Lemmer, with his results as a forwards coach in the previous regime under Swys (de Bruin) taking that forward pack to two Super Rugby finals, was exquisite.

“Wynand Ellis is a young up and coming coach, so we are very privileged and excited for this management team and we believe we can get the best from the players.”

The coaches will also have to balance helping out the URC side by playing players who need game time or are coming back from injury, while also trying to build a settled team in the Currie Cup.

“We have had this conversation and that will happen on a week to week basis,” admitted Nkosi.

“There will be one or two guys from the URC side who will need a bit of game time here and there. So we have to balance exposing the youngsters to first class rugby with guys who need to get a bit of game time before going back to the URC.

“But we are one union and very much aligned, so we will assist the main URC team in any way we can.”