Van Rooyen was in charge of the Xerox Golden Lions Currie Cup team the last two seasons and now steps up into his new role in place of Swys de Bruin.

Van Rooyen joined the Golden Lions Rugby Union in 2009 after hanging up his boots as a junior player, and as a qualified sports scientist, he then worked with the union’s junior sides and Vodacom Cup team until 2011, and also assisted former strength and conditioning coach, Wayne Taylor, with the Vodacom Super Rugby and senior Currie Cup sides.

He was appointed head of strength and conditioning in 2012 – a position he still holds – and advanced through the structures to the role of head coach of the Currie Cup team - in the DirectAxis Financial Services-sponsored competition - in the 2018 and 2019 seasons. The Xerox Golden Lions advanced to the final of SA’s Premier domestic competition under his guidance earlier this year, where they went down to the Toyota Free State Cheetahs.

Lions Rugby Company CEO Rudolf Straeuli, welcomed the appointment.

“Ivan van Rooyen is someone who can build on the successes of past years, and he has proven his worth within the Lions company structures,” said Straeuli.

Altmann Allers, Chairman and Owner of the Lions Rugby Company, spoke highly of Van Rooyen, who positioned himself as the most impressive candidate during the recruitment process, saying: “In Ivan we have an outstanding coach that covers all areas. His extensive knowledge of the Lions culture coupled with his scientific background is paramount in crucial decision making factors.”

Van Rooyen was excited about his new appointment and said: “We have the opportunity to create something very special.

“We have a young but dynamic team and a ‘blank canvas’. It is all up to us what we make of it.

“We will establish clear goals, and we’ll decide who will be involved in this process, what success will look like, and what tools we will use to measure our success.

“I am truly blessed to do what I love.”