The Emirates Lions have lost another key player ahead of their Currie Cup campaign.
Hooker Armand “Akker”van der Merwe or “The Angry Warthog” as he is sometimes referred to, has signed a deal with Racing Metro, which will see him play in France for the remainder of the 2015 season.
Lions Rugby (Pty) Ltd revealed that they agreed to release 4 players to clubs abroad for the duration of the Currie Cup tournament.
As was previously reported Elton Jantjies (Shining Arcs), Lionel Mapoe (Spears) and Warwick Tecklenburg (Kamaishi) have all signed agreements in Japan until February 2016.
Along with Van der Merwe, all the players will return ahead of the 2016 Super Rugby tournament and will represent the Lions in next year’s competition. The players have all committed to Lions Rugby until the end of 2016.
Lions Rugby High Performance Manager, Bart Schoeman, believes the stint abroad will not only be beneficial for the select group of players involved but also for developing young talent within the Lions structures.
“Following on from last year’s successful placement abroad, the Lions opted to selectively release a group of players for the Currie Cup tournament again this season,” Schoeman shared.
“We believe that sending this group of players abroad for several months will not only benefit them as players but will also benefit the union immensely, as we look to develop the young talent we have available here and give a new talent pool the opportunity to perform in the Currie Cup.
“This was a great success in 2014 and we are hoping to replicate that this season.”