Super Rugby

Swys opens up on stress related illness

Swys de Bruin (Getty)
Swys de Bruin (Getty)

Cape Town - Lions coach Swys de Bruin has opened up on his struggles with stress-related issues that saw him take a break from the game.

De Bruin returned to South Africa during the second week of his side's Australasian tour last month with the franchise confirming that he had been suffering from stress. 

He is now back in the hot-seat, though, feeling in control again and trying to prepare his side for Saturday's clash against the Waratahs at Ellis Park. 

Speaking to media after announcing his side for the clash on Thursday, De Bruin spoke honestly about what he had experienced over the past few weeks. 

"I do get professional help ... you have to look after it," he said.

"I didn't realise it and in most cases I don't think you see it coming.

"I take stuff to heart and I make stuff personal and that's what happened. It's not something that happens over a day or two ... it comes over a long period of time.

"To pinpoint specific stuff is not going to solve the thing. It's about how to react when it does happen again, and I am getting professional help not to get over-excited when things do happen that I can't control.

"I didn't realise that I was a control freak and that when there are things that I can't control, it affects me. I'm learning how to control stuff now."

De Bruin acknowledged that one of the hardest things to do had been to temporarily step away from his coaching responsibilities. 

"I must be honest, I've realised through this whole thing happens with so many guys. I'm just so thankful that I can sit here," he said.

"I've learnt that if you really want to be a good leader, you have to stand back (when you need to), so that the other guys lead until you're ready to lead.

"It's working already. I've been challenged twice this week where I have applied some of the techniques, and I'm ready to go."

Kick-off on Saturday is at 15:05.



15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Courtnall Skosan, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 Harold Vorster, 11 Aphiwe Dyantyi, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Ross Cronje, 8 Warren Whiteley (captain), 7 Vincent Tshituka, 6 Kwagga Smith, 5 Marvin Orie, 4 Stephan Lewies, 3 Carlu Sadie, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Sti Sithole 

Substitutes: 16 Jan-Henning Campher, 17 Dylan Smith, 18 Johannes Jonker, 19 Wilhelm van der Sluys, 20 Marnus Schoeman, 21 Nic Groom, 22 Shaun Reynolds, 23 Tyrone Green


15 Kurtley Beale, 14 Alex Newsome, 13 Lalakai Foketi, 12 Karmichael Hunt, 11 Curtis Rona, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Nick Phipps, 8 Michael Wells, 7 Michael Hooper (captain), 6 Ned Hanigan, 5 Rob Simmons, 4 Tom Staniforth, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Damien Fitzpatrick, 1 Harry Johnson-Holmes

Substitutes: 16 Andrew Tuala, 17 Tom Robertson, 18 Chris Talakai, 19 Hugh Sinclair, 20 Will Miller, 21 Jake Gordon, 22 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 23 Cam Clark

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