Lions Announce New Coaching Structure

Sep 1 • Currie Cup, General News, International, National, South Africa, South Africa, United Rugby Championship • 479 Views • No Comments on Lions Announce New Coaching Structure

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The Lions Rugby Company have today announced the appointment three former Springboks to bolster their coaching setup ahead of the inaugural United Rugby Championship (URC) competition starting 24 September 2021.

Head coach Ivan ‘Cash’ Rooyen will be supported by Albert Van den Berg (forwards and lineouts coach), Ricardo Loubscher (backline, attack and skills coach) and Jaque Fourie (defence coach)

Lions Rugby Company CEO Rudolf Straueli said:

“These are exciting times for the Lions ahead of the URC competition. As we embark on our debut season in Europe, we look forward to exposing our players and coaching staff to what will surely be a competitive environment. “

“We are particularly excited to welcome fresh ideas, experience and value our new coaches will bring to our setup as we begin preparations before jetting off in a few weeks. We wish the players and management all the best as they begin their preparations.”
Straueli further went on to encourage the Lions faithful to back their team ahead of the northern hemisphere competition.
“It’s been a challenging year and we have taken a few learnings from those experiences. We now more than ever encourage our fans and supporters to get behind their team as we prepare to face tough opposition abroad and at home.”

The Emirates Lions kick-off their European campaign with four away fixtures against Zebre (24 September), Scarlets (1 October), Glasgow Warriors (9 October) and Ulster (15 October)

Albert Van den Berg (Emirates Lions Forwards and Lineouts Coach)
Rugby Playing Career:

• Springbok Debut: Italy 1999
• Springbok career 1999 – 2007 / CAPS: 51
• 1999: Springbok Rugby World Cup 2nd Runner up
• 2007: Springbok Rugby World Cup Winner
• Super Rugby Career 1999-2009 / CAPS: 102 (Cats 7 / Sharks 95)
• Provincial Career 1994 – 2009 / CAPS: 146 (Vaal Triangle 15 / Griquas 55 / Sharks 76)
• Japan Top East 2010 – 2012 + Top League 2012 – 2013 / CAPS: 35

Coaching Career:
• Super Rugby Unlocked & Currie Cup – Griquas Assistant Coach
• Japan: Ryutsu Keizai University – Forwards Coach / Lineout Coach
• Japan Top League: Toyota Verblitz – Lineout Coach
• Japan Top League: Canon Eagles – Assistant Head Coach
• Vodacom Cup: Sharks – Forward Coach
• Currie Cup: Sharks U21 – Forward Coach
• Sharks Academy: Coach

Ricardo Laubscher (Emirates Lions Backline, Attack and Skills Coach)
Rugby Playing Career:

• Eastern Province U21: 1995
• Eastern Province: 1997-2001
• South Africa Students: 1996 World Cup
• South African Barbarians: 1997
• South Africa Emerging Springboks – 1997
• SA “A”: 1998
• Super Rugby: Cats – 1999
• Springboks 7’s 1999-2001 World Cup
• Springboks 2000 – 2003 World Cup
• Sharks 2000 – 2004
• Blue Bulls – 2005

Coaching Career:
• Stade Francais: 2019 – 20
• Sharks Super Rugby: Backline Coach – 2019
• Sharks Supersport Challenge Cup + U21: Head Coach 2017
• Sharks Currie Cup: Backline Coach 2016
• Springboks: Attack & Backline 2012-2015 World Cup

Jaque Fourie (Emirates Lions Defence Coach)
Rugby Playing Career:

• Springbok career 2003 – 2015 (Three World Cups)
• Total Springbok matches: 74 / 72 Tests
• Won the award for South Africa’s Try of the Year
(2009: SA vs British & Irish Lions) + (2010: Stormers vs Crusaders)
• Rugby World Cup winner’s medal 2007
• 28 Test tries at centre (in 58 Tests in this position, when he played his last Test for SA); the most by a Springbok in the midfield.
• At the end of 2011, he had scored a total of 32 tries in 70 Tests, placing him third behind Joost van der Westhuizen and Bryan Habana on the all-time list.
• Along with Jean de Villiers, he holds the Springbok record for the most Tests as a centre combination (29)
Coaching Career:
• Western Force 2018: Defence Coach
• NRC Western Force 2018: Defence Coach
• USA World Cup 2019: Defence Coach

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