Which come as no surprise reply, the Lions have announced on Wednesday that Ivan van Rooyen will take over as head coach for the Lions after Swys De Bruin left the franchise.
“Ivan van Rooyen is someone who can build on the successes of past years. He has proven his worth within the Lions Company Structures,” said Rudolf Straeuli, CEO of the Lions Rugby Company (LRC).
Van Rooyen has been with the Lions since 2009 after he hang up his boots.
According to Altmann Allers, Van Rooyen was one of the most impressive candidates 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
Van Rooyen is excited to take charge of a young dynamic players group.
“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.
Ivan ‘Cash’ van Rooyen joined the Lions in 2009 after hanging up his boots as a player (Lions juniors, Lions sevens, Valke Currie Cup).
The sport scientist worked with the junior sides and Vodacom Cup until 2011 and also assisted Wayne Taylor with the Super Rugby and senior Currie Cup sides.
He became head of Strength and Conditioning in 2012 and still holds this position.
The Lions continued success since 2014 and subsequent Vodacom Super Rugby finals in 2016 and 2017 was also due to the high level of fitness installed by Van Rooyen.
He headed up the coaching staff of the Lions in the 2018 and 2019 Currie Cup seasons with the team advancing to the final this year.