SA Rugby's 21-clause strikes at the Lions
TRANSFER NEWS: SA Rugby’s 21-day clause has struck at the heart of the Lions, who lost one of their World Cup stars.
Hooker Malcolm Marx has taken up the option to tear up his contract and is heading abroad.
The clause was a deal struck between SA Rugby, the players union MyPlayers, the South African Rugby Employers’ Organisation and the staff union Sports Employees’ Unite.
The deadline for players to tear up their contracts and head abroad was midnight on Thursday, May 14.
Before Friday’s bombshell at Ellis Park, the only confirmed cases of players tearing up their contracts as part of the 21-day clause were Japan-bound Johnny Kotze (from the Bulls to the Blue Sharks) and England-bound Cobus Wiese (Stormers to Sale Sharks).
Marx is the first, and so far only, World Cup Springbok to take up the option to head abroad after the dramatic cut in salary – as part of SA Rugby’s attempt to cut between ZAR700-million to ZAR1-billion from its budget over the next eight months.
The Lions also lost the services of Ruan Vermaak, Tyrone Green, Shaun Reynolds and assistant coach Neil de Bruin.
Reynolds is heading to French ProD2 club Nevers and Marx is reportedly heading to Japan.
However, there was no immediate confirmation of which teams abroad the other players would be joining.
They are not allowed, according to the 21-day clause, join other South African teams.
SA Rugby’s Industry Salary Plan (ISP) to deal with the repercussions of COVID-19, introduced a 21-day window allowing players to cancel their contracts with immediate effect.
— Emirates Lions (@LionsRugbyCo) May 15, 2020
Marx, a key member of the team that destroyed England 32-12 in the World Cup Final in Yokohama last November, has been playing for the Red Hurricanes in Japan since the global showpiece.
The 25-year-old burly hooker has played 33 Tests.
The good news is that the Lions have retained the services of Springbok flyhalf and fellow World Cup winner Elton Jantjies – who has been captaining the team this year.
Rudolf Straeuli, Chief Executive Officer of the Lions Rugby Company, thanked the players for their valuable contributions – with some of them having 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,” Straeuli said.
“We wish them well on their journey ahead and thank them for some very special times spent with the Lions,” he added.
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We wish you all the best going forward on your new journey!
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