New Lions coach Van Rooyen 'moulded' by Mitchell, Ackermann and De Bruin

New Lions coach Van Rooyen 'moulded' by Mitchell, Ackermann and De Bruin

New Golden Lions head coach Cash van Rooyen admits he doesn’t have an impressive coaching CV, but being part of a successful management team has given him enough insight to lead the squad through this year’s Currie Cup campaign.

Van Rooyen, a specialist strength and conditioning coach who has been part of the Lions franchise since 2009, will head the coaching team over the next few months while regular boss Swys de Bruin fulfils his commitments as national attack consultant. The 37-year-old Van Rooyen will be backed up by Super Rugby assistants Philip Lemmer, Joey Mongalo and Neil de Bruin.

“I’m not here to reinvent the wheel,” said Van Rooyen on Tuesday when he named his team to take on Griquas in their Currie Cup opener at Ellis Park on Friday night. “I am new to coaching, but I’m definitely not new to the system here at the Lions. I’ve been deeply involved in the system for years and been a part of the planning sessions ... all the coaches have always been involved. 

"We’ve still got Swys around and the other coaches are also still here. For me it’s more about managing the system rather than being a coach. And, look at a guy like (Bok defence guru) Jacques Nienaber, who started out as a physio, and then did strength and conditioning, and now I rate him as the best defence coach in the world.”

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