Richard Ferguson

Lions announce 2013 matches

Written by Richard Ferguson (Richard Ferguson)

Posted in :Lions, Original Content, Super Rugby on 28 Nov 2012 at 08:00
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The Lions have announced their playing schedule for next year, their first year as the sit-out team of Super Rugby, and will play a similar amount of matches to which they would have played, with their players seeing a little more of the world than just Australia and New Zealand.

During the first half of the year, the Lions play all five Super Rugby teams, the Cheetahs, Bulls and Kings during the pre-season, while they face the Stormers and Sharks during the International window in June.

There are trips to Namibia and the United States of America planned as well, while hosting international teams such as Russia, Samoa and a French Barbarians team.

The Lions have also announced that the matches will form part of a Lions Challenge event, which will see an announcement later as to how exactly it will work.

Lions’ fixture list for 2013:

19 January: Lions v Russia – Coca-Cola Park, Johannesburg
23 January: Lions v Cheetahs – Coca-Cola Park
2 February: Lions v Bulls – Orlando Stadium, Soweto
9 February: Lions v Kings – Coca-Cola Park
23 February: Namibia v Lions – Windhoek
16 March: Lions v Mont de Marsan – Coca-Cola Park
13 April: US Invitational v Lions – Ervine, California
20 April: US Invitational v Lions – Vancouver, Canada
27 April: Chicago Lions v Lions – Chicago
11 May: Lions v Agen – Coca-Cola Park
1 June: Lions v Samoa – Coca-Cola Park
8 June: Lions v French Barbarians – Coca-Cola Park
15 June: Lions v Stormers – Coca-Cola Park
21 June: Lions v Sharks – Coca-Cola Park
12 July: Lions v Montpellier – Coca-Cola Park
20 July: Lions v Grenoble – Coca-Cola Park
27 July: Super Rugby promotion/relegation first leg – TBA
3 August: Super Rugby promotion/relegation – Coca-Cola Park


  • Not the strongest teams, but will get the Lions some game time.

  • Comment 1, posted at 28.11.12 08:06:23 by Mutley Reply
  • Strong enough to keep them in good shape for the promotion relegation game.

  • Comment 2, posted at 28.11.12 08:24:22 by KSA Shark © Reply

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  • At least the Lions didn’t sit back and wait for a hand out like some team

  • Comment 3, posted at 28.11.12 08:50:39 by Mutley Reply
  • @Mutley (Comment 3) : I agree, the kings could have done something similar for a few years now, to steady them into a better position for the Super 15. I am not very surprised they never thought more out of the box, as a typical they want freebies handed out to them. GO LION’s, hope to see you guys back in S rugby asap!

  • Comment 4, posted at 28.11.12 09:04:30 by Uli Reply
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  • As a fairly vocal critic of the current Lions administration I have to admit I’m pleasantly surprised by the out of the box thinking here. Well done Lions for not resigning yourselves to your fate! I reckon the team will learn a lot from these matches. Will they be televised?

  • Comment 5, posted at 28.11.12 09:33:56 by vanmartin Reply
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  • All of this will be worth nothing if it does not end up making them a competitive SR team.

    I’m tired of seeing the same three teams year in and year out waving the flag for South African rugby, I want all five our teams to be competitive and able to beat any team, any where.

    Let’s hope these games either galvanise the Lions into a strong competitive unit, or maybe even give rise to a new truly international franchise competition.

  • Comment 6, posted at 28.11.12 09:41:19 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • Any idea if this is getting televised? If they market it correctly, they can get bigger crowds in than they did for Super Rugby. Although, it should not be that hard to beat an average of 50…

  • Comment 7, posted at 28.11.12 09:52:40 by PTAShark Reply
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  • Where was this management ability when the Lions needed it most? MAYBE this points to the problem being with the players rather than the management. THIS and the problem with Mitchell.

  • Comment 8, posted at 28.11.12 10:15:14 by KSA Shark © Reply

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  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 8) : They players don’t manage the finances.

  • Comment 9, posted at 28.11.12 10:33:13 by vanmartin Reply
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  • @vanmartin (Comment 9) : No, but they do impact the finances big time by playing like kittens.

  • Comment 10, posted at 28.11.12 11:05:37 by MysticShark Reply
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  • @vanmartin (Comment 9) : The management doesn’t lose almost every Super15 game that they play either.

  • Comment 11, posted at 28.11.12 11:35:58 by KSA Shark © Reply

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  • @MysticShark (Comment 10) : Fair point.

    @KSA Shark © (Comment 11) : Indeed but the Lion’s management definitely didn’t aid the union’s cause with all their blunders. Can’t blame the players for the loopholes in player contracts, not paying the Leopards and Pumas and screwing up the Guma deal, etc….

  • Comment 12, posted at 28.11.12 12:13:28 by vanmartin Reply
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  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 6) :

    That wont happen unless the Stormers Bulls and Sharks stop sitting with all the top talent in the country . Lions can develop players until they are blue in the nuts , they wont become stronger if every second school boy plays for the Bulls

  • Comment 13, posted at 28.11.12 12:19:42 by Zibbie Reply
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  • @Zibbie (Comment 13) : Central contracting or a draft is probably the only way to “balance out” the teams. Seems as though 12 players will be centrally contracted next year on Meyer’s insistence if rumours are to be believed. The start of things to come perhaps?

  • Comment 14, posted at 28.11.12 12:43:22 by vanmartin Reply
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  • how awesome for Lions fans to actually have something a little different to look forward to. I remember how interesting it was in the early years of Super 10 and Super 12 to see your team in action against unfamiliar foes… unfortunately, for the rest of us, it’s been a diet of more than 10 years of the same teams and same faces. With the bloody doubled-up derbies now, it’s twice as bad.

  • Comment 15, posted at 28.11.12 12:48:50 by robdylan Reply
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  • @Zibbie (Comment 13) : Not sure why the Lions weren’t able to be competitive with their crop of players, they somehow managed to win the CC last year, so personally I think you had more than enough talented players to compete in this year’s SR.

  • Comment 16, posted at 28.11.12 12:50:42 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • @vanmartin (Comment 14) : Central contracting with our national sport administrators will be a disaster. Currently the Franchises are far better equipped at looking after their players than the gravy train top brass.

  • Comment 17, posted at 28.11.12 12:54:58 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 16) : Injured “team” for the Stormers match in March:

    15. Hollenbach, 14. Des Fountain, 13. Murray, 12. la Grange, 11. Mapoe, 10. Jantjies, 9. Bondesio, 8. , 7. Rhodes, 6. Jaco Kriel, 5. Ruan Botha, 4. Van Heerden, 3. Vd Linde, 2. Maku, 1. Janse Van Rensburg

    And that’s how it was most of the season. The Lions had the players, they just didn’t have them available to put on the field

  • Comment 18, posted at 28.11.12 13:04:10 by Baylion Reply

  • Great for the fans and I’ll bet it’ll be a great experience for the players!

  • Comment 19, posted at 28.11.12 13:08:55 by VinChainSaw Reply
  • With central contracts who will decide on where a player plays? This could end up worse than the 80’s when all the good players were called up for army duty in Pta and Cape Town.

  • Comment 20, posted at 28.11.12 13:16:24 by JD Reply
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  • @Zibbie (Comment 13) : Developing players will not make them “blue in the nuts” but lusting after the Bulls, Stormers and Sharks talent poll may well have that effect.

  • Comment 21, posted at 28.11.12 13:30:42 by Salmonoid Reply
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  • @JD (Comment 20) : Let’s wait and see whether there’s any truth to the rumour before worrying about that.

  • Comment 22, posted at 28.11.12 13:36:04 by vanmartin Reply
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  • @JD (Comment 20) :

    Dude… all the best players come from Cape Town anyway…

  • Comment 23, posted at 28.11.12 13:54:48 by VinChainSaw Reply
  • @vanmartin (Comment 14) :

    im hoping something along those lines . all for the better of SA rugby

    @Salmonoid (Comment 21) :

    so your saying the Bulls sharks and stormers develop and use ONLY there own players ?

    You tell the Lions to develop players ? but yet every time we do they leave for one of the other 3 provinces ? doesnt make sens to me …

  • Comment 24, posted at 28.11.12 18:10:24 by Zibbie Reply
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  • @Zibbie (Comment 24) :

    Oh, you mean like Josh Strauss that left… oops but seems he wasnt yours anyway! A Stellenbosch boy!

    Reckon you’d need to go back to Hennie le Roux before you find a decent Gauteng-reared player… oops again – seems he’s from Grahamstown… 😉

    Fact is you’ll always struggle to breed player in Gauteng because the school system is so weak.

  • Comment 25, posted at 28.11.12 18:55:45 by VinChainSaw Reply
  • The match 23 for one of the recent EOY internationals would support that assertion with 7 of the squad hailing from the Western Cape/Boland area. This is followed by the OFS with 6 representatives – 5 from Grey College, KZN and the Lions with 3 each, and the Puma’s with 2. SWD and Border each had 1 player in the squad. Interestingly, there was not one player from the Bulls.
    In terms of school representation, Paul Roos and Monnas (Taute, Alberts, H Vd Merwe) follow Grey with 3 players each followed by Michaelhouse (Lambie and Cilliers) with 2.
    Missing players who could be considered first choice include 3 more Grey/OFS representatives in Bismark and Frans Steyn and possibly Brussouw, Jacque Fourie (Monnas) and Habana (KES) from the Lions, and Schalk Burger (Paarl Gym) and Andries Bekker (Paul Roos) from WP.

  • Comment 26, posted at 28.11.12 19:12:49 by steve Reply

  • Hope to see them back in 2014 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

  • Comment 27, posted at 29.11.12 07:14:47 by Marge Reply

  • @Zibbie (Comment 24) : Uhmmm no, Im saying that lusting causes blue balls.

  • Comment 28, posted at 29.11.12 08:44:51 by Salmonoid Reply
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  • @Baylion (Comment 18) : So the fact remains that you had more than enough capable players (injured or not), and blaming the Sharks, bulls and Stormers for the Lions’ inability to be competitive in SR is a load of hogwash.

  • Comment 29, posted at 29.11.12 09:02:54 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 29) : Agreed. Lions management, eg losing 15 players in 2009, should be blamed more often than not. 2012? Just tough luck.

  • Comment 30, posted at 29.11.12 09:34:52 by Baylion Reply

  • @VinChainSaw (Comment 19) :

    Kinda the pot calling the kettle black dont you think ?(Alberts And Ludik)

    and im not referring to only Lions players here either . Du Plessis Brothers , Beast ect ect .

    But what ever . this happened so now hopefully the Lions can make a comeback .

    Im a bit worried about the Kings as well . if any half decant player plays the Bulls sharks and WP will poach them without even blinking . You can tell me what ever you like . This wont work .

  • Comment 31, posted at 29.11.12 12:52:26 by Zibbie Reply
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  • @Zibbie (Comment 31) : Crying over spilt milk – it was not long ago that Butch James was seen climbing off a private jet to take up his contract with the Lions. The money was there.

  • Comment 32, posted at 29.11.12 12:56:54 by Salmonoid Reply
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  • @Baylion (Comment 30) : And if the 2009 contract shambles did not take place, one guess how many players would be returning to the Lions for the promo/relegation match – all would have been offered permanent contracts at the Stormers and Bulls.

    That whole saga ensured that the Lions tightened-up their contracts. Now that’s a glass half full attitude :mrgreen:

  • Comment 33, posted at 29.11.12 13:12:10 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • @Zibbie (Comment 31) : Ai Zibbie, you know when your past becomes a problem? When you blame it on others.

    You never won the CC with any of the 2009 exodus players, yet you managed to do so in 2011, as Baylion said, this year was tough luck with all the injuries, because you had more than enough players to compete at SR level.

    You wanna know why the tjietas are still as incompetent as they are because they’re still not ove Bismarck, Jannie, Frans, Ruan etc. How many years back have they joined the Sharks? 🙄

    I guess Ghana should complain because the tjietas poached Raymond Rhule and now they (Ghana) will never be able to compete at international level. 😆

  • Comment 34, posted at 29.11.12 13:19:15 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • @Salmonoid (Comment 32) :

    yes but he is now back with you guys so the balance has been restored 😛

  • Comment 35, posted at 29.11.12 13:26:08 by Zibbie Reply
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  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 34) :

    haha suppose your right . Hopefully the Lions can use this year to recover . We will see …

  • Comment 36, posted at 29.11.12 13:31:44 by Zibbie Reply
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  • @Zibbie (Comment 36) : Im sure they will.
    Looking at the scheduled games I think the guys that are still with the union are going to have a great time, with a real mix of hard and less hard games but also interspersed with some nice, different travel destinations.

  • Comment 37, posted at 29.11.12 15:11:30 by Salmonoid Reply
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  • @Zibbie (Comment 36) : @Salmonoid (Comment 37) : Well for one thing, if the international games of the Lions are televised, it will draw a fair bit of a television audience as we all enjoy seeing new competition involving SA team/s.

    Hopefully the Lions can teach that Chicago team a thing or two about rugby….I’m hoping for a cricket score, and hopefully a new comp is born out of this.

  • Comment 38, posted at 29.11.12 15:42:46 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 38) : Why the Chicago team soecifically, are you US based?

  • Comment 39, posted at 29.11.12 16:48:42 by Salmonoid Reply
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  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 38) : @Salmonoid (Comment 39) :

    May i ask a question . How would you guys go about improving the Kings and the Cheetahs so they can compete with the Sharks Bulls and WP on Super rugby level ?

    Would spreading the talent around more evenly be an option ? (players coming out of school included)

  • Comment 40, posted at 29.11.12 16:52:39 by Zibbie Reply
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  • @Zibbie (Comment 40) :

    Dude, there’s so much more to it than that.

    Rugby is a game where the structures in place mean so much. Add an availability of cash into the mix and you have a winning formula. Just look at NZ Rugby; less players than most of the test rugby playing nations yet they’ve been top of the pile for as long as most of us can remember.
    Compare that to England, which has something like 8 times as many players as the kiwis, and 2003 apart, they’ve always been average, despite the numerous imports and great players they’ve had.

    The Cheetahs are always going to struggle with player depth and due to a lack of money. Their structures and feeder program are probably the only thing that keeps them in the game.
    The Lions have the cash, but no decent feeder structure or management structure.

    The Kings well, they dont have either.

    Its got very little to with the players. Look at WP and the Bulls; theyve delivered over time, because they have a healthy schools system and they have the financial might to do what they need to do.

    The Sharks have the feeder talent coming through and they seem to be managing it better than they did, for example, in the eighties and early nineties. They also have cash behind them.
    Spreading the players out, in my humble opinion, will just weaken the strong teams.
    Success in rugby has very many more facets.

  • Comment 41, posted at 29.11.12 17:20:29 by VinChainSaw Reply
  • @VinChainSaw (Comment 41) :

    Im hoping the initiative taken by the Lions in arranging these fixtures instead of sitting back and waiting for something to happen is a sign of things to come

  • Comment 42, posted at 29.11.12 17:43:38 by Zibbie Reply
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  • @Zibbie (Comment 42) :

    I reckon they’ve done very well!

  • Comment 43, posted at 29.11.12 18:12:42 by VinChainSaw Reply
  • @Zibbie (Comment 31) : dude players move not only for money but also for SUCCESS!!!!!! The lions signed 3 Sharks players and you never see us complaining that we lost the 2011 cc final because lions took our players.
    Pienaar and Bismarck did not play any games for the cheetahs senior team and they never would have as the cheetahs did not rate them and picked other players above.
    As for Frans he was signed as a 19 year old not from the cheetahs but from a NZ acadamy as he already left them.
    Beast came from Zim to join the Sharks acadamy aka to join SUCCESS!!!!!!
    Even if the players are “mixed up” like the cry babies would like it to be done the Sharks, Bulls and Stormers will be better than the rest in super rugby as their structures are better!!!
    Can someone please do an article on where each of the players in this years currie cup played 0/19 and 0/21 rugby. I think you would be surprised to see were some players come from.

  • Comment 44, posted at 29.11.12 20:32:51 by JD Reply
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  • @JD (Comment 44) :

    Sure yes they do . im asking this in terms of SA rugby . WOuld it be good for SA rugby to have 4 or 5 side that could win Super Rugby ? if yes should it not be SARU’s mission to get all sides competitive ?

    But from the reaction im getting it seems everybody is happy with how things are right now . We arent competing with the All blacks but we dont care 😛

  • Comment 45, posted at 29.11.12 20:51:21 by Zibbie Reply
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  • All my experience playing against the Chicago Lions was in the late 80s and early 90s, and they were an excellent team at the time. Since then, they seem to have diminished a fair bit since I have not seen them in the US Club Championships in many a year.

  • Comment 46, posted at 29.11.12 23:50:41 by Dancing Bear Reply
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  • @Salmonoid (Comment 39) : No no, very much based in KZN SA….it will be good for the yanks to see how rugby is played by little old South Africa….maybe they’ll learn a thing or two, or end up suing the lions players for tackling their players too hard etc.

  • Comment 47, posted at 30.11.12 08:32:32 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • @Zibbie (Comment 45) : Hell no I’m not ok with losing to NZ and yes it would be nice if SA got 4 or 5 teams able to win super rugby, only problem is that by weakening Bulls, Stormers and Sharks you will not get 4 or 5 strong teams you will get 5 weak teams.
    Thing is Bulls, Stormers and Sharks will rise to the top of SA teams in less than 2 seasons because their managment structures are better than the rest and then thay will cry and bitch about something else whilst waiting for the next handout.
    Get the other teams to sort out their management and then they will be stronger as I thing the rot in cheetahs and lions starts from the top (in their board rooms).

  • Comment 48, posted at 30.11.12 14:33:09 by JD Reply
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  • Nah, if you cant do it on your own, then you shouldnt be there and should make room for a side that can.

    The Cheetahs have never taken handouts and have punched above their weight for years. The Lions hail from the most populous province in South Africa and they have cash; why should they get player handouts?

    Which self-respecting Natalian or Province boytjie would anyway want to live there? 😉

    Come to think of it; you can steal some Bulls players; anything north of Bloem is all the same anyway… 😎

  • Comment 49, posted at 30.11.12 20:06:28 by VinChainSaw Reply

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