Malcolm Marx will leave the Lions despite the ‘best efforts’ of the Johannesburg-based franchise to find the means to retain the services of the World Cup-winning hooker .
Back in May, the Lions announced Marx was one of four players who would be parting ways with the team as SA rugby’s well-publicised 21-day contractual exit window came to a close.
Despite Marx exercising the exit option, the Lions later stated that they remained in ongoing discussions with Marx and his representatives, with talk that he could ultimately end up staying in South Africa appearing to be a real possibility.
However, as reported by Sunday newspaper Rapport, and since confirmed to SARugbymag.co.za by a Lions spokesperson, the franchise ultimately had no option but to bid farewell to Marx.
‘We tried our best, but there was nothing more we could do after his agent ultimately decided not to accept it [the Lions’ offer for him to stay].’
The 25-year-old has opted to sign for the Kubota Spears in Japan, who are coached by former Vodacom Bulls mentor Frans Ludeke.
In the upcoming issue of SA Rugby magazine, Marx speaks of his desire to raise his game and feature in the series against the British & Irish Lions in 2021.
‘I have to keep working and know that there will always be a different challenge. We don’t know when the season will resume, or when we will get together to train again. In the mean time we’ve got to make the most of it and stay positive.
‘The Lions series is a goal I’ve set for myself,’ he adds. ‘I realise that I’ll need to tick a few boxes along the way. I’ll need to perform at club level and earn the right to represent the Boks again. I’ll never take that for granted. If I get the chance, I’ll have to show why I deserve it every single game.’