Johannesburg – Veteran English lock Simon Shaw is one of several overseas players on the shopping list of the Golden Lions Rugby Union (GLRU) as they bid to strengthen their squad for next year’s Super14 writes Pieter Jordaan for sport24
The 36-year-old toured South Africa with the British and Irish Lions this year.
“We are negotiating with a number of overseas players, including Shaw,” said GLRU chief executive Manie Reyneke.
He added that the current experienced lock pairing of Nico Luus and Willem Stoltz will still be available for the Lions next year, but that they have to bolster certain positions to be able to be competitive in the Super14.
Shaw is a hard man who will be capable of stoking the Lions’ engine room.
His experience can also benefit younger players in the region.
Reyneke added that they will also be looking for a scrumhalf, flyhalf and centre.
The latter is a position that may be particularly relevant if Springbok midfielder Jaque Fourie is allowed to continue his career at Western Province.
His arbitration hearing, which started this week, has been postponed until 12 October, but Reyneke said that the GLRU are happy with the manner in which the hearing has progressed.
A glance at the Lions team down to play the Sharks in Durban on Saturday gives one an idea of the pressure under which the union’s management finds itself to bolster the side.
André Pretorius, Willie Wepener, Ethienne Reynecke, Dewald Senekal, Ernst Joubert and Anton van Zyl have all sought out greener pastures in recent months.
Injuries have also robbed the Lions of the services of Heinke van der Merwe, Gert Muller, Jano Vermaak, Louis Ludik, Alwyn Hollenbach, Dusty Noble, Earl Lewis, Henno Mentz and Derek Harwood.
That is why most experts are not giving the Lions much chance of beating the Sharks on Saturday.
However, for those players that will be in action, the Lions’ shopping list should serve as a warning.
With little playing time left in 2009, every member of the 22-man squad will be keen to show management that they are worthy of a place in the “new” set-up from 2010.
That will probably include a new Super14 coach. The post was advertised recently and an announcement is expected shortly.Tweet