New Lions coach: Major change would be 'foolish'

Johannesburg - New Lions and Golden Lions head coach Swys de Bruin has massive shoes to fill, but he is not looking to make major changes to the union now that Johan Ackermann has left. 

Under Ackermann's leadership over the past five seasons the Lions have become one of the most dangerous and respected sides in Super Rugby, having finished the last two seasons as runners-up. 

Ackermann, who has De Bruin as his assistant, turned the Lions into one of the most potent attacking sides in the competition and they are the only South African franchise that has displayed an ability to rival the New Zealand sides in the tournament. 

The decision to appoint De Bruin as Ackermann's replacement was logical given that there is nobody who understands the existing culture at the Lions better, but the new boss is not looking to change things drastically. 

"We want to polish our brand even further, because we're not going to deviate from that," je said on Thursday.

"We still need a good lineout, a good scrum, a good defensive system and from there we'll play our brand.

"There will not be too many changes... just a tweak here and there. It will be foolish now to break this house down."

The first assignment for De Bruin is to try and turn the Golden Lions' Currie Cup season around. The side has lost two of their three matches in the tournament so far to sit fifth on the log. 

And while preparing for next season's Super Rugby tournament is crucial, De Bruin insists that the Currie Cup is also a priority. 

"The Currie Cup is still very important to us. The guys are taking it seriously," he said.

"We've set the clock back to zero because there is new management, but we do take the Currie Cup very seriously.

"We have to use the opportunity to develop future stars, but you still want the consistency. You don't want to change too much, you want to build."

The Golden Lions host the Sharks in the Currie Cup on Saturday.