Lions lose Springbok Malcolm Marx, starlet Tyron Green on 'deadline day'
JOHANNESBURG - The Lions have lost World Cup winning hooker, Malcolm Marx, who opted to make use of SA Rugby’s 21-day cost-saving window, to terminate his contract with the Joburg side.
Marx, who has been playing for the Shining Arcs in Japan since after the World Cup last year, is one of the first big-name casualties following an industry-wide decision and plan to help save the game in South Africa in the time of coronavirus.
All rugby across the globe has been suspended, and SA Rugby, together with other role-players, took the decision to allow all contracted players to end their deals with their unions and pursue other interests.
Marx is one of five Lions players who opted “out”. The other big name from a Lions perspective to decide to seek employment elsewhere is young back, Tyrone Green. It is understood he is chasing a deal in England.
Flyhlaf Shaun Reynolds has also terminated his contract, and so, too, young flanker, Ruan Vermaak.
Specialist backline coach Neil de Bruin – the son of former Lions and Bok coach Swys – has also opted to end his association with the Lions.
The deadline for players to have their contracts “torn up” ended at midnight on Thursday.
The good news is that flyhalf and current Super Rugby captain Elton Jantjies appears set to remain with the Lions, and so, too, rising stars Wandisile Simelane, Vincent Tshituka, and Carlu Sadie.
Meanwhile, the Bulls have lost backline player Johnny Kotze, but are believed to be gaining some players, rumoured to be Cheetahs men, locks Sintu Manjezi and Walt Steenkamp, as well as Jason Jenkins, who’s been playing abroad over the last two years.
At the Sharks it appears that World Cup stars Makazole Mapimpi and Lukhanyo Am are set to stay, but lock-cum-flank Tyler Paul is believed to have opted out.
In Cape Town, there has been news doing the rounds on Friday that World Player of the Year, Pieter-Steph du Toit, may in fact have chosen to take up a big-money offer in France, but this is yet to be confirmed, while flyhalf Jean-Luc du Plessis has been reported to be on his way out, too.
* This is a developing story ...