JOHANNESBURG – Head coach Ivan van Rooyen admitted that he was positively beaming after it was introduced that Lions centre Wandisile Simelane had been honoured with the SA Rugby Young Player of the Year award on Thursday morning.
Simelane had a stellar season throughout the just lately concluded TremendousRugby Unlocked and Currie Cup campaigns for the Lions, the 22-year-old setting tongues-a-wagging with his thrilling and irrepressible play within the midfield for the Joburg-based facet. It was a sentiment shared by Van Rooyen, who chatting with Independent Media on Thursday, expressed his jubilation on the achievement of the previous Baby Bok.
Said Van Rooyen: “We are delighted with that. It is always nice when individuals or teams get acknowledged, especially when it is from your franchise or union.
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“Knowing how arduous he needed to work to get the place he’s immediately,” the coach continued, “everybody at all times knew that he had the expertise however the final year, year-and-a-half, by way of his improvement, was essential to that.
“He wasn’t necessarily the first choice at the beginning of last year, but we really went through a good process with him of good honesty: where he is, what he needs to work on, and him understanding actually what his potential is, and then him getting closer to that.
“It is an enormous reward for him. I’m actually completely satisfied for him and should it lengthy proceed.”
Simelane stepped his way into the rugby public’s consciousness this past season with powerful and bewitching displays, showing his X-factor on several occasions as he eviscerated opposition defences. In October last year, he was selected to participate in the Springbok Showdown, and with his most recent performances, there is genuine talk that he will don the Green and Gold of the national team sooner, rather than later.
— Springboks (@Springboks) March 4, 2021
Simelane, alongside with his teammates, is presently arduous at work making ready for the upcoming season. The Lions are scheduled to play towards the Eastern Province on Wednesday within the second of their preparation matches however Simelane just isn’t anticipated to make an look throughout the encounter as Van Rooyen continues to work on the squad depth for the European-orientated Rainbow Cup by choosing gamers from the union’s youth buildings.
It is extra probably that the newly confirmed Young Player of the Year will run out towards the Sharks and the Stormers later this month because the Lions full their coaching regime for the brand new season forward.