Ross Roche

By Ross Roche

Senior sports writer

Lions will be ‘proud’ to see players crack Bok, SA ‘A’ squads

Several Lions players like Gianni Lombard, Henco van Wyk, Sanele Nohamba and Ruan Venter are in line to tour in November.

The Lions will be hoping to celebrate a number of their players getting picked for the Springbok or South African ‘A’ teams that will be heading off for their European end-of-year-tour after the coming weekend’s United Rugby Championship (URC) match-ups.

A solid start to the season for the Lions has seen a number of their players impress, especially a number of their youngsters, and it has been speculated that a few players could be picked in one of the two squads.

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Flyhalf Gianni Lombard has an outside shot at making the Bok squad, but should definitely make the SA ‘A’ team, while centre Henco van Wyk, scrumhalf Sanele Nohamba and flank Ruan Venter should all be in line for an SA A call-up.

Other players with an outside chance include flyhalf Jordan Hendrikse, inside centre Marius Louw and wing Edwill van der Merwe.

Lions Boks Hendrikse
Lions flyhalf Jordan Hendrikse will be hoping to tour Europe in November. Picture: Johan Pretorius/Gallo Images

If a number of players do crack the nod for the national sides, Lions assistant coach Julian Redelinghuys believes it will be a big moment for the union.

“If there are a couple of names read out the whole squad will be incredibly proud because that is ultimately what we would like to see. We would like to see individuals rising to their potential and that will only happen if a team does well,” said Redelinghuys.

“For those individuals to achieve those accolades, it is unbelievable and I am sure that they (Lions players) are reaching those levels because they are great team men. So (regardless if players are picked) they will still be switched on for the weekend’s game (against the Stormers).”

Francke Horn

Lions young eighthman Francke Horn has been another of their players to really impress over the opening stages of the URC and he could also be in contention for a call-up to the SA ‘A’ squad.

However, it has been suggested that he doesn’t play a style of rugby that suits the Bok management, but Horn claims he has no plans to change his playing style any time soon.

“I know what my role is in the team and I am playing well because of that. The coaches and system allow me to play a certain type of way. So it’s difficult for a player to just change his style,” admitted Horn.

“So hopefully you can turn heads by being yourself and playing the way you play and be the best you can be in that certain style.”

The Springbok and SA A squads will both be named on Friday.

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Europe Lions rugby team Springboks (Bokke/Boks)

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