Wikus back at the helm

The Lions have been boosted by the news that a revitalised Wikus van Heerden will lead them against Griquas on Saturday.

Van Heerden was given two weeks break from absa Currie Cup action by coach Eugene Eloff, but returned to training today after spending time on a farm outside Johannesburg. He was only due back next week.

“Wikus phoned me on Sunday night and said he felt rested and was ready to come back. I told him it was his decision. He will definitely be the captain against Griquas,” Eloff told keo.co.za.

That means flank Ernst Joubert steps down after just one match in charge. He can be proud of his contribution having overseen the Lions first victory of the year.

On Saturday they travel to Kimberley for one of the toughest assignments of the year. And as the Sharks found out last weekend, Griquas are a different proposition when playing at home.

“It is never easy playing Griquas in Kimberley, but I believe if we stick to our plan we can come home with a win. I’m happy with our progress, but I’ll be the first to admit we are a long way off where we want to be.”

The Lions have missed too many first time tackles and left almost ten good scoring opportunities on the table. The first phase play also needs improving if they hope to confound their critics and make the semi-finals for the eighth year in a row.

“It is typical of a young side to make mistakes, but as long as our learning curve keeps moving up then we have a chance.”

Eloff will announce the Lions team tomorrow.

By Andrew Hollely