Super Rugby

SANZAAR won't punish Lions for team sheet deception

Rudolf Straeuli (Gallo Images)
Rudolf Straeuli (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - The Lions look set to escape any punishment for deliberately deceiving the Chiefs in a Super Rugby clash earlier this month.

The incident in question happened on April 19 when the Lions beat the Chiefs 23-17 in Hamilton. 

Having originally named both Elton Jantjies and Malcolm Marx on the bench, the Lions then sprung a surprise on match-day when both of those key players were elevated to the starting line-up. 

Lions CEO Rudolf Straeuli was quoted afterwards as saying that the decision was a deliberate tactic aimed at surprising the Chiefs, which caused an obvious reaction from the rugby community. 

In a column for New Zealand's Stuff.co.nz website on Tuesday, however, it was confirmed that SANZAAR was not in a position to take further action because there is nothing in the tournament rules preventing sides from making last-minute changes. 

The governing body also confirmed that Straeuli was not sanctioned.

According to the report, Super Rugby teams are required to announce a draft starting squad of 23 at least 48 hours prior to kick-off, but there's nothing to prevent them from altering their starting line-up after that.

The Lions have a bye this weekend.