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Mon Apr 21 16:54:48 SAST 2014

Lions will ride storm, says De Klerk

Liam del Carme | 29 June, 2012 06:260 Comments
Kevin de Klerk with Josh Strauss at the final whistle during the Absa Currie Cup Final between MTN Golden Lions and The Sharks at Coca Cola Park on October 29, 2011 in Johannesburg
Image by: Duif du Toit / Gallo Images

THE union he heads may vacillate from one crisis to the next, but Kevin de Klerk remains eternally optimistic the Lions can soon detach themselves from the imbroglio.

De Klerk yesterday expressed the hope that the latest crisis to besiege the Lions, the suspension of coach John Mitchell due to a player revolt, will blow over soonest.

"It could take a week. It could take two. We hope to conclude the matter as soon as possible," he said.

He staunchly defended his team, even when questions were yesterday directed at captain Josh Strauss and stand-in coach Johan Ackermann.

"To suggest that what has transpired was driven by Josh or the players would be inaccurate. There are a number of issues to be addressed. The matter remains sub judice and we cannot comment," he said about the inquiry.

If, as De Klerk seemed to suggest, it is not a simple matter of the players venting against Mitchell's "Full Metal jacket" methods, then the union bosses need to explain their role.

While the Mitchell saga has grabbed recent headlines, the issue of the Lions' participation in Super rugby beyond 2012 is simmering in the background.

De Klerk was bullish about their prospects: "We understand the inclusion of the Kings won't come at the expense of an existing franchise. There is big lobbying taking place."

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Lions will ride storm, says De Klerk

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