Lions secure Mokuena

The Lions have contracted Jonathan Mokuena and are hoping to sign another one of his Griquas team-mates for the Super 14.

Mokuena, who captained Griquas as well as the Springbok Sevens team, has been in brilliant form during the Currie Cup, and the No 8 will play out of Jo’burg for the next two years. The Lions have ample depth at loose forward, including captain Baywatch Grobbelaar, and CE Manie Reyneke stressed no leadership decisions had yet been made for the southern hemisphere tournament.

‘Jonathan is a great leader, but no promises have been made,’ Reyneke told keo.co.za.

The Lions are also hoping to sign impressive lock Jacques Lombard on a two-year deal in order to gain some much-needed second row depth. However, Reyneke said legal details still had to be finalised with Griquas regarding Lombard’s move.

American Todd Clever has done enough to secure a one-year contract extension, while the Lions have also signed Bulls utility back Marius Delport until the end of 2011. Delport can play centre and wing, but he has fallen out of favour at Loftus, and should receive more opportunities at Ellis Park.

The Lions are meanwhile back in the arbitration process to keep Jaque Fourie in Jo’burg. The matter is set to be resolved later this week, and Reyneke reiterated they are doing their utmost to retain their best players.

Injured fulback Louis Ludik and eighthman Willem Alberts – who had a great Currie Cup – have reportedly been on the Sharks’ shopping list, but Reyneke said they weren’t going anywhere.

‘Willem and Louis are both contracted until the end of 2011 and all of my players are being approached by other unions. But I will not let them go.’

This positive player recruitment news also comes on the back of the signings of Springbok winger Tonderai Chavhanga, as well as Bulls flyhalf Burton Francis.

By Grant Ball