Founded in 1889 as the Transvaal Rugby Club, the Lions were the first South African team to win the Super 10 in 1993, the forerunner of Vodacom Super Rugby.
City and Country: Johannesburg, South Africa.
PRO Rugby Titles: None. Best finish of fourth in Pro14 Rainbow Cup South Africa.
Quick Shoutout Facts: Fourth oldest rugby union in South Africa. First SA team to win a trans-national title in the professional era with their Super 10 triumph in in 1993.
The “They Did What? Award: For 3 consecutive years (2016, 2017, 2018) they reached the Vodacom Super Rugby final but were unable to win. In 2015 they became the first team since the Nineties to go unbeaten on their way to winning the Carling Currie Cup.
Coach: Ivan van Rooyen.
Captain: Dan Kriel.
Stadium: Ellis Park.
Founded in 1889 as the Transvaal Rugby Club, the Lions were the first South African team to win the Super 10 in 1993, the forerunner of Vodacom Super Rugby. The club is one of the traditional giants of South African rugby with a history of producing world-class players and being led by some of the most innovative coaches in world rugby. Rassie Erasmus, the Springboks’ 2019 Rugby World Cup-winning coach and now Director of South African Rugby, is a former captain of the Lions. Their home stadium of Ellis Park hosted the historic 1995 Rugby World Cup Final where the Springboks beat the All Blacks to mark their return to international rugby following years of sporting isolation.
If you want to sound like a local: Start a discussion about the three years of 2016, 2017 and 2018 – when the Lions played in three consecutive Vodacom Super Rugby finals, unfortunately losing all three. That will stir up enough debate around Lions fans.
What you didn’t know: The old Transvaal Rugby Union is the fourth oldest rugby union in South Africa. Oh, and South Africa’s famous professional golfer Ernie Els is a devoted Lions fan.