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The future of Lions: sign long-term deals with these five players now

Following the announcement of captain Burger Odendaal’s imminent departure to Wasps at the end of the current URC season, the Lions will not want to lose any more players as they try to sign up some of their own players ahead of the second campaign .

Here are five players the Lions must hold on to if they are to remain a competitive side in the coming seasons.

Wandisile Simelane

Wandisile Simelane is arguably the most talented player on the Lions squad and should be the first name on the team sheet. However, he has been substituted quite often during this season’s URC campaign. When it was announced earlier this month that Odendaal was in talks with foreign clubs, it was confirmed that Simelane was too.

However, the Lions should do everything in their power to keep him going, starting with letting him play as long as he’s fit. Losing another first-choice center will be a huge blow to the union, and it’s even more important to keep it.

Jaco Kriel

It is a very young Lions squad currently in business in their first URC campaign and losing Odendaal’s experience is a big blow. At the age of 32, Jaco Kriel is the most experienced player in the squad and it is obvious to replace Odendaal as captain.

So the Lions cannot afford to lose a player of his caliber, and although he hasn’t reached the heights of his first stint with the Lions since his return, he is still an irreplaceable, experienced member of the team and the It’s vitally important that the Lions keep him in the union.

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Carlu Sadie

Carlu Sadie is one of the most powerful, if not the most powerful, currently practicing his profession in South Africa. At 23, he is still relatively new and experienced to the scene, but he has made himself an indispensable member of the Lions for three over the past few seasons.

With his incredible raw power, there will no doubt be some suitors willing to pick up his signature and the Lions would be smart about trying to tie him to a long-term deal. Despite an impressive array of first-rate talent across the country, Sadie should be at the top of the rankings, making him an attractive option for many teams.

Vincent Tshituka

Exciting loose attacker Vincent Tshituka is part of a strong Lions loose trio with Jaco Kriel and Francke Horn. Flank is another position where South Africa has an abundance of talent, but Tshituka is quickly making a name for itself as one of the most popular features in the position.

It is extremely mobile, strong in carrying and good at breaking down. His all round qualities make him a very popular player and as a 23 year old he has many years of rugby ahead of him and will become an integral member of the Lions team if he can be convinced to stay on for years to come . †

Jordan Hendrikse

All indications point to young Jordan Hendrikse become a future springbok. The 20-year-old has burst onto the senior scene in style after stellar performances on the junior stage and should be following in the footsteps of his older brother, Jaden, after making his Springbok debut in 2021.

Jordan has what it takes to become a quality flyhalf. He has a huge boot, impressive accuracy and an attacking instinct that is difficult to learn. He could become the future of the Lions union if he stays with them for years to come and the Lions would be foolish not to sign him a long-term contract.

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