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Lions in turmoil after players lose faith in Ivan van Rooyen and his coaching staff

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Cape Town — Fed-up Lions rugby players vented their frustration and distrust in the incumbent coaching structure by slapping them with mediocre ratings last week.

IOL Sport understands the players were, according to insiders, instructed to rate their coaches and management staff out of 10. The players were split into several groups.

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The scorecard made it clear that the team’s relationship with their head coach, Ivan ‘Cash’ van Rooyen, reached a nadir when he got an average rating of between three and four out of 10, a figure correlating with his disastrous winning ratio of only 39%.

Conditioning coach Stefan van Deventer mostly got ones, IOL Sport understands. CEO Rudolf Straeuli was not “one of our rating options”, said the players who spoke to IOL.

Backline, attack, and skills coach Ricardo Laubscher allegedly got an average score of four, while scrum coach Julian Redelinghuys’ score was not immediately known by the time of publication.

Coaches Albert van den Berg and Jacques Fourie got an average of between seven and eight out of 10.

One group gave the Lions’ contracts and operations manager, Tracy van Ginkel a -3, while the “majority of the other groups” thought she was worthy of a one.

The rift between the players and management widened after “things were not well organised” at the hotel they were staying at in Paris, France. This was for their game against Stade Francais.

“It was so bad, we were taken in a bus from the hotel we were at just to end up back at the very same hotel,” insiders said, adding that “we thought we were going to a restaurant but ended up returning to our hotel to get a buffet”.

Another player said it was everything but a buffet.

“We were chowing hotdogs on tour. Usually we have proper nutritious meals planned out but we were given hotdogs and wondering if this was last minute emergency plan to feed us,” said the player.

Dietician Carey Anne Seady said rugby players should keep their distance from processed foods such as hot dogs.

“They need to have carbs and protein, especially during tour,” said Seady.

“They should not be eating processed food, nothing fatty … I would say rice with chicken breasts, a nice salad or a tomato based pasta,” she said.

SEE ALSO: Confident Curwin Bosch sinks hapless Lions in scrappy URC encounter

They say Van Ginkel was running around that day, “looking very unorganised”.

“Tracy is the same woman who knew that our jerseys for our game against Stade Francais were at large, but did nothing about it. She knew about the mishap for almost two weeks. Stade Francais had to ask their fan store to pay for the printing of numbers on our warm-up jerseys, we were really embarrassed,” said another insider.

“Another problem that happened is that we had to walk 2km to do our own washing because Tracy didn’t want to pay for the washing at the hotel … so we had to walk to a laundry place, they gave us €20 to wash our own laundry.”

SEE ALSO: Ivan van Rooyen insists Lions haven’t loss confidence after yet another loss

Nyaniso Sam, Lions media manager, refused to comment, while Van Rooyen, Van Ginkel and Straeuli were also unavailable.

This comes while Van Rooyen failed to avert a disaster at this weekend’s game at Ellis Park in Johannesburg, where the Sharks drowned out the roar of the Lions by securing a 29-7 victory.

IOL Sport

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