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Van Rooyen named new Lions coach

Ivan van Rooyen takes over the reins from Swys de Bruin who joined the Southern Kings as a consultant after parting ways with the Johannesburg franchise earlier this year.

Ivan Meyer has been named as the new Lions coach. Picture: @LionsRugbyCo/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG - The Lions on Wednesday announced Ivan van Rooyen as the new head coach for the 2020 Super Rugby season.

Van Rooyen takes over the reins from Swys de Bruin who joined the Southern Kings as a consultant after parting ways with the Johannesburg franchise earlier this year.

The 37-year-old joined the Lions in 2009 after hanging up his boots as a player and became head of strength and conditioning in 2012 and still holds this position.

Van Rooyen was also part of the Lions’ sides that made it to back-to-back Super Rugby finals in 2016 and 2017.

He also headed up the coaching staff of the Lions in the 2018 and 2019 Currie Cup seasons with the team advancing to the finals this year.

Lions CEO Rudolf Straeuli is confident that Van Rooyen is the right man for the job.

“Ivan van Rooyen is someone who can build on the successes of past years. He has proven his worth within the Lions company structures”, he said.

Altmann Allers, chairman and owner of the franchise credited Van Rooyen, who positioned himself as the most impressive candidate during the recruitment process.

“In Ivan, we have an outstanding coach that covers all areas. His extensive knowledge of the Lions culture coupled with his scientific background is paramount in crucial decision-making factors”, he said.

“We have the opportunity to create something very special. We have a young but dynamic team and a ‘blank canvas’. It is all up to us what we make of it. Standing in front of that ‘blank canvas’, we will establish clear goals, we will decide who will be involved in this process, what will success look like and what tools we will use to measure our success. I am truly blessed to do what I love to do,” he said.

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