Lions haul out the chequebook again

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Currie Cup, Lions, Original Content, Super 14 on 11 May 2010 at 09:18
Tagged with : , , , , ,

Good news – the Lions are now apparently in talks with every international player that has ever worn the green and gold, from Danie Gerber right through to Jorrie Muller! Reading between the lines, it would appear that the failure to win a single match in this year’s Super 14 is being blamed squarely on the players and their goal is to throw away the current lot and start all over again with a star-studded team of imports.

The first two targets are players both in the news recently, former Sharks pivot Butch James and former WP centre Jean de Villiers. James blew up rather messily all over the media last week, starting a war of words between himself and the Sharks management that has left neither side looking particularly good and the Lions, supposedly flush with yet more cash that they found goodness knows where, are ready to step in and make Butch a big offer. Dick Muir is apparently also going to use his “special relationship” to convince de Villiers, keen on a return from Munster, to turn his back on offers from both WP and the Sharks and rather throw in his lot with the Joburg team.

It doesn’t end there, of course. Rumours have continued to surface throughout the Super 14 that the Lions were ready and willing to solve the “front-row crisis” in Durban, caused by the presence of too many Springbok players. Both John Smit and the du Plessis pair have at various stages been linked to the Lions and while I’ve been led to believe that Muir is not particularly interested in the brothers, he is very keen to have John Smit join his team in a player/coach role.

The thing that nobody seems to be mentioning is that, according to some reasonably credible reports, the Lions are bankrupt. How, then, are they going to afford the wage demands of some of the most expensive players in the business? My feeling is that CEO Manie Reynecke probably doesn’t realise that his Union doesn’t have any money. After all, he has proven completely inept in every other facet of managing a professional rugby union, so it’s probably safe to assume that he doesn’t have a clue about the financial situation either.

Beware, is all I would say to players looking at taking the Lions’ money. Dick Muir will be gone within a year and you’ll be left hoping that your contracts have been written to the “standard GLRU specification”.


  • Manie is approaching sponsors to foot the wage bill, can’t really see too many sponsors staying on board for much longer.

  • Comment 1, posted at 11.05.10 09:22:55 by provincejoulekkading Reply
  • We have heard these rumours before, so I am not inclined to believe them. That being said South African rugby would benefit from having a stronger Lions team

  • Comment 2, posted at 11.05.10 09:25:52 by war1 Reply
  • I cannot see Jean in a Lions jersey, its so wrong.Like Schalk in a Bulls jersey.

  • Comment 3, posted at 11.05.10 09:27:51 by provincejoulekkading Reply
  • @provincejoulekkading (Comment 3) : or Habana in a Stormers jersey โ“

  • Comment 4, posted at 11.05.10 09:34:34 by war1 Reply
  • Nah, Habs never struck me as a BUL!Victor, P3 , Danie in a Stormers jersey, NEVER โ—

  • Comment 5, posted at 11.05.10 09:51:34 by provincejoulekkading Reply
  • @provincejoulekkading (Comment 5) : Imagine Bakkies in a Sharks jersey, I heard rumours of the Sharks wanting to sign him a few years ago

  • Comment 6, posted at 11.05.10 09:56:01 by war1 Reply
  • Not gonna happen imo.

    How many of their better players have left in recent years??

    Who would want to join a team that have just lost their 12th game in a row. ๐Ÿ™„

  • Comment 7, posted at 11.05.10 09:56:37 by wpw Reply
  • @wpw (Comment 7) : Let’s say they do go, it will only be because of the new mysterious sponsor the Lions are allegedly getting, then you have a few mercenaries, isn’t that what all the Lions fans moan at the Sharks for? Will the team perform better IF they get these players? This smacks of a PR campaign to get support for ailing Lions management, much like when we saw MANY players linked with the Lions in pre-season

  • Comment 8, posted at 11.05.10 10:02:54 by war1 Reply
  • Just leave John in Durban Muir. Don’t think John will move not now. Just finished building his house. Think his family only just moved in. So why the heck would he want to move to the Lions? Maybe something to look at after his rugby career ends after the wc next year? Though in his book he mentions he wants to travel after he retires which would be after the wc. So don’t think he will be off to the Lions.

    If they get Butch which they may after Butch made such a song big thing about the Sharks messing it up for him. Now why go and buy another player with who is injury prone and will cost the Lions so much money? Not even Sharks could afford him.

    Maybe some other players wanting to come home think maybe they will go after those. JdV at Lions? Really don’t think so. Also he will only be there for a year and up and go so will Butch if they get him. They must have found a huge sponsor. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Comment 9, posted at 11.05.10 10:23:38 by Puma Reply

  • why would Butch choose the Lions over Bath?

  • Comment 10, posted at 11.05.10 10:38:25 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • Manie Reyneke says reports linking Jean de Villiers and Butch James to the Lions are pure speculation.

    A report in a South African newspaper claimed the union have earmarked the pair of Boks as potential signings. The Lions CEO denied this.

    โ€˜I donโ€™t know where all this speculation is coming from, I think guys just grab names out of a hat. I havenโ€™t got a clue where guys start these stories, maybe agents are wanting to create more interest in their player.โ€™

    James sought a return to his home province of the Sharks earlier this year, but the deal fell through at a late stage. He is still contracted to Bath, who will only release the player for a transfer fee believed to be between ยฃ400 000 and ยฃ500 000.

    De Villiers will leave Munster at the end of the northern hemisphere season and although heโ€™s also been linked with a move to the Sharks, he admitted to SA Rugby magazine last year that it would be difficult to play for a South African province other than Western Province.

    โ€˜I canโ€™t mention any names at the moment, but we are talking to players,โ€™ said Reyneke. โ€˜None of those are at advanced stages of negotiations as weโ€™ve just started looking. If we approach guys weโ€™ll be able to afford them.โ€™

    A constant lament from the Lions have been how they have hemorrhaged players to other unions over the last decade. This Super 14 has left them without much quality, and Reyneke said they are aiming to lure some players to fill the gaps.

    โ€˜We are looking at getting guys in five or six positions. Iโ€™m not willing to say which positions they are. Iโ€™m not sure how long it will take as all these things take time, but weโ€™ll announce players as soon as possible.โ€™

    The report also linked the Du Plessis brothers, Bismarck and Jannie, John Smit and Joe van Niekerk to the union. It is highly unlikely the quartet will leave their current teams at the Sharks and Toulon.

  • Comment 11, posted at 11.05.10 10:44:16 by wpw Reply
  • @wpw (Comment 11) : five or six positions…

    Prop, Hooker, Lock, Loose forward, halfback, wing

    he’s missing a few positions ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Comment 12, posted at 11.05.10 10:54:50 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • I think they need to buy a whole new team and change the colour of their jersey (for physiological reasons)

  • Comment 13, posted at 11.05.10 11:03:54 by Uli Reply
    Valued Sharksworld Supporter
    Uli Boelie
  • According to Walter the Lions lost 11 players since last year’s S14.


  • Comment 14, posted at 11.05.10 11:08:04 by wpw Reply
  • that is allot I must say.

  • Comment 15, posted at 11.05.10 11:09:00 by Uli Reply
    Valued Sharksworld Supporter
    Uli Boelie
  • @provincejoulekkading (Comment 5) : Habana never struck you as a Bulls player?? Holy cow I wish that had been true in 2007!!

  • Comment 16, posted at 11.05.10 11:10:14 by Pablo Dinero Reply

    Pablo Dinero
  • @robdylan (Comment 10) : Lets be honest, at this stage, even Jorrie Muller would turn down a stint at the Lions

  • Comment 17, posted at 11.05.10 11:11:47 by Pablo Dinero Reply

    Pablo Dinero
  • Wish the Lions could afford all these players.

    Would be nice to have a team who dominates SA rugby that doesn`t come from Snor City for a change . . .

  • Comment 18, posted at 11.05.10 11:15:51 by Original Pierre Reply
    Original Pierre
  • @Pablo Dinero (Comment 16) : He never struck me a a dyed in the wool, Bulls or bust player thats all.

  • Comment 19, posted at 11.05.10 11:19:31 by provincejoulekkading Reply
  • @robdylan (Comment 12) : No worries, he can sign Balie Swart, Uli Schmidt, Francois Pienaar, Johan Roux and Pieter Hendricks. Apparently none of them would require paying transfer fees and the fans would actually know who are pulling on the red and white jerseys for a change.

  • Comment 20, posted at 11.05.10 11:19:36 by Pablo Dinero Reply

    Pablo Dinero
  • @provincejoulekkading (Comment 19) : I dont disagree, after all he is now playing for his third South African province, but it doesnt take away the pain of seeing him in light blue steal what should have been a black and white celebration.

  • Comment 22, posted at 11.05.10 11:20:44 by Pablo Dinero Reply

    Pablo Dinero
  • @Pablo Dinero (Comment 22) :

    He made a wise choice imho. ๐Ÿ˜ˆ

  • Comment 23, posted at 11.05.10 11:23:58 by wpw Reply
  • @Worcestershire Sauce (Comment 21) : Makes you wanna cry doesnt it. Unreal!! We need to get this boy back, can you imagine seeing him in light blue or blue and white stripes when he returns..

  • Comment 24, posted at 11.05.10 11:25:39 by Pablo Dinero Reply

    Pablo Dinero
  • @Pablo Dinero (Comment 24) : More important is that we get him back for 2011 NZ !!!! Don’t care who he plays for here or there – as long as he is playing for the Boks !

  • Comment 25, posted at 11.05.10 11:31:55 by Worcestershire Sauce Reply
    Worcestershire Sauce
  • Sharks have PRO LEGOETE AS REF for the Force game. ๐Ÿ™„ Now how did we get him? He is a Panel Ref and Mark Lawrence a merit ref is assistant ref? Thought merit refs get the first say to ref?

    Damn Pro Legoete was rubbish against us in the 2nd half of the Cheetahs game. I know this is a nothing game but want the Sharks to end with a win.

  • Comment 26, posted at 11.05.10 11:36:10 by Puma Reply

  • @Puma (Comment 26) : weren’t we told earlier in the season that Pro “won’t easily ref again in this tournament”? What happened to change that?

  • Comment 27, posted at 11.05.10 11:39:33 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • @Worcestershire Sauce (Comment 25) :

    I’ve said some nasty things about Frans in the past but when he is on song he is just brilliant.

    How about putting penning a ‘Frans Steyn’ thread just to piss off Rob?? ๐Ÿ˜ˆ ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Comment 28, posted at 11.05.10 11:43:08 by wpw Reply
  • @robdylan (Comment 27) : Jeepers Rob, have no idea. Why is he back? He was dropped. What I don’t understand is he is a Panel Ref. Thought Merit Refs get to ref and only use the Panel Refs if they have too. Pro should be reffing CC for the rest of the season. Not getting another chance at S14. Especially after his damn mess up against us in the Cheetahs game. Also a Merit Ref is assistant? ๐Ÿ™„ Makes no sense to me.

    We have been very unlucky with Refs this season.

  • Comment 29, posted at 11.05.10 11:45:38 by Puma Reply

  • @robdylan (Comment 27) :

    What happened is that you guys decided to shaft the Stormers and Tank Lanning got wind of it.

    He wanted the Sharks to ‘throw’ the game so the Stormers could get a home semi… but NOOOOOOO!!!

    The Sharks decided to play their best match when it didn’t matter!!

    (Sour grapes I know) ๐Ÿ˜ˆ ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Comment 30, posted at 11.05.10 11:46:16 by wpw Reply
  • Cheers all back later.

  • Comment 31, posted at 11.05.10 11:47:12 by Puma Reply

  • @Worcestershire Sauce (Comment 21) :
    I watched only second half but Fransie apparently wasn,t playing at 10 then he changed positions with Wi?niewski. And apart from that drop-goal he blowed hot and cold – earned two penalties including a very stupid one ( high tackle) which enabled Clermont to escape with points too far to reach them,

  • Comment 32, posted at 11.05.10 13:04:08 by tedanica Reply
  • @Worcestershire Sauce (Comment 21) : My My what a kick Sharks must see this they kick themselves to have let him go get him back for the WC 2010 ๐Ÿ˜†

  • Comment 33, posted at 11.05.10 13:25:36 by Chaz Reply

  • Well now tell me something is it the players of LIONS or the top GUYS of the SNOILS that are causing this problem between them ๐Ÿ˜• โ“
    So if it’s the players ๐Ÿ˜• getting a new team will it make them win

    And if its the TOP guys in Their TOP seats ๐Ÿ˜• โ“
    Now what is a new team going to do help them when the big problem lies within the big guys ๐Ÿ‘ฟ

  • Comment 34, posted at 11.05.10 13:32:34 by Chaz Reply

  • My feeling is that CEO Manie Reynecke probably doesnโ€™t realise that his Union doesnโ€™t have any money. After all, he has proven completely inept in every other facet of managing a professional rugby union, so itโ€™s probably safe to assume that he doesnโ€™t have a clue about the financial situation either.

    DUDE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Be Careful he will take away your media accreditation. ๐Ÿ™„ ๐Ÿ˜›

  • Comment 35, posted at 11.05.10 17:34:05 by KSA Shark ยฉ Reply

    KSA Shark ยฉ
  • “De Klerk said they planned to buy more quality players with the funds generated by an agreement between the Lions and South African Investment Limited (SAIL)”

    SAIL have a 50% share in the Bulls pro arm and a 25% share in the Stormers pro arm. They have a controling share in the Saracens and along with Stade de France will be managing Green Point stadium after the world cup.

    The Ruperts are serious money. Along with Naspers/SuperSport, they have a very big say in how pro rugby in SA is run.

    If SAIL does invest, then the sky is the limit. Their input went along way to rebuilding the Bulls. It wont be immediate, but over 5 years or so who knows. Joburg certainly has alot going for it, there are alot of rugby fans there, just supporting the Sharks and Bulls. It may change if they start winning.

    Sports teams aren’t like other businesses, they never really go bankrupt. Look at UK soccer teams for example.

  • Comment 36, posted at 11.05.10 18:10:52 by Os Reply

  • @Os (Comment 36) : so there is hope for the LIONS ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Comment 37, posted at 11.05.10 18:32:50 by Chaz Reply

  • @war1 (Comment 6) : Not that hard to imagine. If I remember correctly, Bakkies is a Natal boy; gebore en gebrood in Newcastle.

  • Comment 38, posted at 11.05.10 23:46:33 by MysticShark Reply
    Competition Winner
  • Jannie Dup going nowhere ,i have it under good authority he has another year to do at least at bluff millitary hospital

  • Comment 39, posted at 11.05.10 23:55:24 by ruggabugga Reply


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