News24 – Johannesburg – The Lions have made a clear statement that they are ready to get back into Super Rugby with the launch of an online campaign.
The Johannesburg-based team launched a new website this week -www.lionsrugby.co.za- as well as a viral YouTube video to activate their fans – and intimidate the Kings. Within a week, the video has reached almost 15 000 views.
The Lions are due to tackle the Kings in a double round of Super Rugby promotion-relegation matches, the first of which is scheduled for Friday, July 26 in Port Elizabeth, followed by the return leg in Johannesburg on Friday, August 2.
Furthermore, this week saw the return of players Franco van der Merwe, Martin Bezuidenhout and Elton Jantjies. The return of these players is a huge boost for the Union and these players will fit right into the tight-knit squad who have been preparing for seven months for this huge match up. Throughout the year, the Lions have lost just one game, won the Vodacom Cup, as well as matches against Russia, Samoa and a strong Sharks side a few weeks back. The team looks set to put up a strong fight against the Kings next week.
The Golden Lions Rugby Union (GLRU) also partnered with the South African National Energy Development Initiative (SANEDI) this week in a long-term agreement that will see the greening of the Ellis Park precinct. This will mean that Ellis Park Stadium and its surroundings will commit to making sustainable changes (such as lighting, electricity and water supply) and the plan will see the area become cleaner, more illuminated and safer (with the incorporation of more security measures). The GLRU and Sanedi aim to make Ellis Park Stadium more appealing to locals, which will increase turn out at home games.
Earlier this week, the GLRU held a function where former Lions player and Springbok, Ashwin Willemse, was announced as a Board and Executive Committee Member at the Lions. Willemse will be heavily involved in the Development and Transformation in Schools and Clubs portfolio. The Springbok-turned-philanthropist (with his NGO, GreenSmile Foundation) is extremely excited and honoured to be an integral part of the GLRU.
At this event, one of the world’s leading motivational speakers, Les Brown, who is in South Africa for the National Achievers Congress took time out to speak with the squad. Brown gave a moving speech to the team, where he encouraged the players to settle for nothing less than victory in the next two weeks.