Ill De Bruin quits as Golden Lions coach

Johannesburg (AFP) –


Swys de Bruin quit as coach of Johannesburg-basedSuper Rugby club the Golden Lions Friday after being unable to work for several months due to a stress-related illness.

During seven years with the team, he assisted coach Johan Ackermann and then took charge when the former Springbok forward moved to English Premiership club Gloucester.

Illness forced De Bruin to return early from a Lions tour of Australasia this year and he later quit as a Springboks assistant for "personal and medical reasons".

"It was an unbelievable seven years with the Lions family. Thank you to everyone who made it special and memorable," said De Bruin after announcing his resignation.

"The Lions will always have a special place in my heart. As a team, we played to score tries and to inspire people by the way we performed."

Lions chief executive and 1995 Springbok Rugby World Cup winner Rudolf Straeuli hailed the 59-year-old coach.

"Swys has made a ground-breaking contribution in the style of play and attacking patterns to the team whereby memorable tries have been scored at Ellis Park," he said.

After losing three consecutive Super Rugby finals from 2016, the injury-plagued Lions won only eight of 16 matches this year and failed to reach the knockout phase.