Odendaal part of the Lions, for now

The centre will head for Wasps at the end of the season

23 February 2022 - 13:44
Burger Odendaal, in the centre, at a Lions training session at Johannesburg Stadium.
Image: Sydney Seshibedi/Gallo Images Burger Odendaal, in the centre, at a Lions training session at Johannesburg Stadium.

Ricardo Loubscher expects Burger Odendaal to remain part of the Lions' set for the remainder of the season.

Odendaal will join Wasps at the start of next season and Loubscher, the Lions' attack and backline coach, expects the man who has led the Lions in the United Rugby Championship (URC) to remain central to their cause until his departure.

“It is my understanding that he is still part of us,” said Loubscher who is on tour with the team for Friday night's URC clash against Leinster in Dublin. “He will be a big loss to us in terms of his leadership. When he plays well, and I said it to him before the Stormers game, it gives the whole team confidence We will definitely miss him.

“It is a great opportunity to take his career a step further, but it will be a big loss for us.”

The 28-year-old who spent his youth career with the Lions before moving to the Bulls has been back with the Johannesburg franchise since 2020.

He was contracted by Wasps to fill the boots of Malakai Fekitoa who will leave the team at the end of the season. Bok tight-head prop Vincent Koch will also join the team in the new season when he transfers from Saracens.


Odendaal will reunite with John Mitchell who used to coach him at the Bulls.

It is on Mitchell's recommendation that Wasps contracted Odendaal.

The Lions are surveying their midfield options before their clash against Leinster. With Jordan Hendrickse restored to full fitness he may come under consideration for the starting team after being named on the bench in the last match against the Stormers.

In Tiaan Swanepoel, however, they have a player who can kick the ball prodigious distances and the pair may be deployed in tandem against a team with the marauding qualities of Leinster.

Talking point

“It is a talking point in our coaches' meetings at the moment,” said Loubscher.

“It is good to have Jordan back and we know what Tiaan can do. Jordan is a guy who brings an X-factor to our team, he is a good goal kicker, he has a big boot.

“It gives the team confidence to have him back. There is also Quan [Horn] who had a solid game on the weekend, he was outstanding against the Sharks. It is exciting to have a guy of his quality in the team."