Things change more rapidly in Lions rugby than on the local political scene.
Hennie Brandt writes in the Beeld that when Jannes Labuschagne started training with the Lions again on Monday for the first time since his retirement in 2006, this former leader of the pack thought his return to the game would possibly take place only next season.
But after his performance during practice on Monday, Lions coach Eugene Eloff decided to pick the 32-year-old Labuschagne as one of the replacement forwards for Saturday’s Currie Cup match against the Sharks in the Lion’s Den.
Despite the fact that Labuschagne has not even played any club rugby since retiring, he has lost none of his skills. He is fit and physically in good shape.
He also showed at Ellis Park on Tuesday that he has lost none of his jumping abilities in the front of the line-outs.
And thanks to his experience of 103 provincial matches for the men in red and white, he knows all the shortcuts to make an impact as a substitute.
Labuschagne’s experience could also come in handy in calming the younger players in the Lions’ quest to beat the Sharks and book themselves a place in the semifinals.
Eugene Eloff could also be forced to give the number 13 jersey to Springbok outside centre against the Sharks because of the hand injury sustained by Jaco Pretorius in the victory over Boland.
Fourie was destined for the bench against the Sharks, but Pretorius’s injury could upset Eloff’s plans. A final decision whether Pretorius will man the midfield alongside Doppies la Grange will be taken on Thursday.
X-rays taken of Pretorius’s right hand on Tuesday revealed no fractures.Tweet