Springbok star Elton Jantjies may be a kicking mainstay at the Lions but Currie Cup coach Swys de Bruin is nurturing another promising flyhalf.
De Bruin has been working closely with Ashlon Davids, 24, whom the Lions coach rates highly.
« Things didn’t go smoothly for him against the Pumas last weekend but he has the heart of a lion, » De Bruin said.
« He is small physically but he makes that up with his absolute courage and determination.
« He tackles big guys; he just never stops and I am excited about him. »
Even though his numbers are not overly impressive after six rounds of matches in the Currie Cup – where he has scored one try and made two conversions – De Bruin says that Davids will only improve with time and establish himself as a reliable back-up to Jantjies.
« I said it earlier in the season that he can be the second Elton [Jantjies] if we look after him and mould him correctly. He has a good boot as well. »
Five Currie Cup matches remain for the Lions.
First up on the menu is a tricky clash against second-from-bottom Griquas in Kimberley on Friday night and, should the Lions win, they could move from the foot of the table.
De Bruin said the Lions must intensify their physical game and improve their lineout calls to be victorious in Northern Cape.
« Lineouts are definitely a department we will have to work harder on, » said De Bruin, also explaining that Victor Matfield missed the Pumas match because he was at an auction.
« We did win some of the balls but there is room for improvement there.
« The lineouts were not that bad in terms of just winning them, but losing them was not just good.
« [Matfield] is a consultant at this stage and he is not with us all the time.
« He had an auction, which is something he indicated from the beginning that he would be doing from time to time, » De Bruin said.