The Lions have confirmed they will bid farewell to four players, which includes World Cup-winning Springbok Malcolm Marx. CRAIG LEWIS reports.
At the conclusion of SA rugby’s 21-day contract exit window, there are an array of player movements taking place on what has effectively become a ‘transfer day’ of sorts.
On Friday, the Lions officially confirmed they will be parting ways with Marx, Ruan Vermaak, Tyrone Green, Shaun Reynolds and coach Neil de Bruin.
Although these departures will be a blow to the Lions, the one bit of good news is that SARugbymag.co.za understands that Elton Jantjies will remain with the Johannesburg franchise.
Jantjies was another Springbok rumoured on Thursday to possibly be in line for an exit, but it’s believed he will remain loyal to the Lions.
Another player who the Lions will be happy to have retained the services of is highly-regarded centre Wandisile Simelane, who this website understands is very much still on the national radar.
With players having the option to opt out of their current contracts in favour of overseas deals, it’s believed Marx will be committing full time to Japanese club the Kubota Spears.
Rudolf Straeuli, Chief Executive Officer of the Lions Rugby Company, thanked all the players for their valuable contributions, some of whom have formed part of the Lions since their school-going days.
‘There is always a big sense of loss and sadness when we lose family members. We wish them well on their journey ahead and thank them for some very special times spent with the Lions,’ Straeuli said.
Meanwhile, the Lions Rugby Company and EPS (Pty) Ltd have appointed a COVID-19 task team that will ensure their premises are safe for staff to return to work once prohibited to do so.