Cape Town - Jaguares coach Mario Ledesma believes the Lions will again be the strongest South African team in Super Rugby this year.
Under the guidance of Johan Ackermann as coach, the Lions were beaten finalists in the competition’s last two editions.
With Ackermann leaving to join Gloucester in England, his assistant Swys de Bruin has taken over at the Lions.
De Bruin’s Lions beat Ledesma’s Jaguares 47-27 at Ellis Park last week and the former Argentine hooker was impressed by the Johannesburg outfit.
“Last Saturday, we played against what I think is the best team in South Africa,” Ledesma said in an exclusive interview with Sport24.
“The Lions have been dominating the conference for the last couple of years. They remain really confident despite the fact that they have lost their mentor in Johan Ackermann. I believe that momentum will last for a few months and maybe later they are going to try to find a different way but, right now from what I have seen from them, the Lions are exactly the same animal.”
Ledesma continued: “The Lions really believe in what they are doing and they play the same way against any team in Super Rugby. Physically, the Lions are one of the toughest teams to come up against in South African rugby. It’s not only due to their size and power but because they are fit and well-conditioned.”
FULL INTERVIEW: Mario Ledesma chats to Sport24