Johannesburg – At least four Lions players have opted to slip through the 21-day window they were allowed to get out of their domestic contracts
Hooker Malcolm Marx, lock Ruan Vermaak, utility back Tyrone Green and fly-half Shaun Reynolds have all chosen to get out, while assistant-coach Neil de Bruin also joined then to the Doornfontein exit.
The Lions have been ravaged by defections in the past seasons but this one will be particularly hard as the team is not likely to immediately plug the holes left by the players.
On Thursday, Lions Company chairman Altmann Allers said he could not confirm whether Marx would resume his career at the franchise where he had to make his mark. Vermaak is a still a young forward who can be deployed across the back and second row, while Reynolds has deputised for Elton Jantjies when the regular fly-half has been unavailable.
De Bruin has become a valuable member of the coaching staff.
Their departures were made possible by local rugby’s Industry Salary Plan (ISP) to help ease the payment burden on embattled franchise because of the Covid-19 pandemic.