A block of a man at 1.8m tall and weighing in at 125kg, Sadie said he was hoping to get a proper run in Lions colours
IT is said that one only realises the worth of something when it is gone. Well, the Lions may find out over the course of this year’s Super Rugby competition just how valuable and important Springbok tighthead prop Ruan Dreyer was in their set-up.
The now Gloucester-based No 3 didn’t quite crack it at Test level, but for a good three to four years he anchored the Lions scrum in Super Rugby, and helped make his team’s set-piece one of the best in the competition.
But Dreyer is gone – to play for former coach Johan Ackermann’s team in England – and the Lions have to find a replacement tighthead prop. It hasn’t helped that the unheralded Jacques van Rooyen – also a stalwart for many seasons – is also not available as he now plays for Bath.
The good news for the Lions is they still have the hugely promising and talented Dylan Smith on their books and he’s fully fit, for a change, while head coach Swys de Bruin can also bank on veteran Jacobie Adriaanse, who seems to have been around forever and has a wealth of experience.
Then there are the rookies at this level, some more experienced than others; Johannes Jonker, Danie Mienie and the two new recruits Frans van Wyk and Carlu Sadie – all men who’ll be hoping to get an extended run somewhere in the front row now that Dreyer and Van Rooyen have moved on.
Sadie, the highly rated 21-year-old who’s on loan from the Stormers, seems to have the inside lane for the No 3 jersey having started for the Lions in last Sunday’s friendly against the Sharks in Cape Town. And, he comes with quite the reputation, having played for the SA Under-20 team in 2016 and 2017 and playing nine games for the Stormers last season.
A block of a man at 1.8m tall and weighing in at 125kg, Sadie said he was hoping to get a proper run in Lions colours.
“I was playing behind two Springboks (Frans Malherbe and Wilco Louw) in Cape Town and coach Swys (de Bruin) said the Lions were ready to create a future with me,” said the former Bellville High pupil ahead of the start of Super Rugby next week.
A big move
“Of course it’s a big move for me, coming up from the Cape, but I liked what I saw in the Lions and their culture, what they stand for, and already I’m feeling settled and a part of the team.”
And with a vacancy at No 3 Sadie said it was an opportunity for him to show what he can do. “Yep, there’s a big chance now for whoever is ready to take it. But to get into that position (left vacant by Dreyer’s departure) you’re going to have to work hard and put the effort in; there are a lot of quality players working for that spot.”
De Bruin has decided to give his players this weekend off – to freshen up and enjoy the time with friends and family – before they wrap up their preparations early next week and fly out to Buenos Aires for their opening fixture against the Jaguares next Saturday night.