Marius Louw set to step into Burger Odendaal’s Lions shoes | The Citizen

New Lions centre Marius Louw is set to step into the big shoes left by former captain Burger Odendaal when the United Rugby Championship (URC) kicks off this weekend.

Odendaal left the Lions at the end of last season for English Premiership side Wasps, while Louw was signed from the Sharks to fill that void.

During a three season stay at the Lions, Odendaal became a fan favourite, putting in a number of barnstorming performances, and Louw will now be aiming to impress and prove himself a worthy successor.

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“What a great player Burger is. Those are definitely some big shoes to fill. It isn’t daunting, but is exciting for me to bring my own type of flavour to the team and to express myself as best I can to fit into the team environment,” said Louw.

“I am just very excited for the challenge ahead. Coming here I knew the style of rugby the Lions play. It’s always an exciting brand of rugby, so I see myself fitting into it quite nicely.

“Over the course of the preseason I have had a lot of work-ons and I have managed to fine tune those things that I needed to work on to fit in a bit better.”

Strong centre department

The Lions centre department will be an exciting one for the early part of the URC, with Louw backed up by youngsters Henco van Wyk and Rynhardt Jonker, while the signings of Zander du Plessis and Sango Xamlashe from the Griquas on loan will further strengthen the department.

“It doesn’t matter what combinations the coaches choose, I think everyone is capable of putting on the starting jersey. We have gotten to know each other and connected very well over the last few weeks, so I am excited to see what we can do,” said Louw.

The Lions once again have a very young squad doing business in the URC this season and Louw at the age of 26 will be one of the more senior members in the side, so will need to help guide some of the younger players.

“There is some experience from my side. So I always try to share my knowledge, but I also make sure that I am open to learning from other guys. I try to learn from as many people as I can and I try to give as much input as I can as a slightly older player,” explained Louw.

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