Strauss quits captaincy, Spencer sacked

Josh Strauss has stepped down as captain of the Lions while coaches Carlos Spencer and Wayne Taylor have been released from their contracts.

Strauss oversaw a disastrous Super Rugby campaign, marred by further turmoil off the field. Beeld reports that he wants to focus on regaining form, which he deemed to be poor during the southern hemisphere competition.

It is also reported that his strained relationship with head coach John Mitchell was a contributing factor. Strauss led a revolt against Mitchell after a draconian training session towards the end of the Super Rugby campaign.

Strauss has been named at blindside flank for their warm-up match for the Currie Cup against the Bulls in Johannesburg.

Meanwhile, the Lions have announced that assistant coach Spencer and conditioning coach Taylor have had their contracts with the union terminated.

Business Day reports that the Johannesburg union has exercised a clause in the coaches’ contracts that states Spencer and Taylor would be released from their contracts if the Lions finished dead last.

Mitchell, who was suspended in late June, will only learn his fate in September. Given that Spencer and Taylor’s contracts were tied to Mitchell’s, it seems likely that Mitchell will not continue with the Lions.