RugbyLions defend the omission of Odendaal
─── MORGAN PIEK 08:17 Wed, 18 May 2022
The Lions have explained the mysterious omission of their captain, Burger Odendaal, for their United Rugby Championship game against the Dragons in Newport.
Odendaal was not on their flight that departed for Wales yesterday and the lock, Reinhard Nothnagel, was named as the captain for the game.
The match was set to be Odendaal’s last at the Lions before he left the franchise to join the Wasps in London.
Lions coach, Cash van Rooyen, explained that it was time for the centre to hand over the reins.
“He was unbelievable for us this season,” said Van Rooyen.
“We are looking ahead to the future with game with it being a United Rugby Championship match and away from home.
“It's the perfect situation for our three young centres to give an opportunity to go and experience an away game in Europe.
“Unfortunately for Burger I know that it's not ideal, but it's also important for the team to feel that and let Notties lead them in an away game.”
Saturdays’ match between the Dragons and Lions at Rodney Parade kicks off at 16:00.
Forwards - Sti Sithole, JP Smith, Jannie du Plessis, Jaco Visagie, PJ Botha, Ruan Dreyer, Asenathi Ntlabakanye, Reinhard Nothnagel (captain), Ruan Venter, Ruben Schoeman, Sibusiso Sangweni, Vincent Tshituka, Francke Horn, Jarod Cairns, Morné Brandon, PJ Steenkamp.
Backs - Morné van den Berg (vice-captain), André Warner, Jordan Hendrikse, Tiaan Swanepoel, Matt More, Manuel Rass, Henco van Wyk, Edwill van der Merwe, Stean Pienaar, Quan Horn, Sanele Nohamba, Rabz Maxwane.
Morgan Piek OFM Sport