Today we finally saw official confirmation of a story we broke a few weeks ago. Waylon Murray officially put pen to paper with the Lions a few days ago and started training with his new team today.
Murray, who was graciously released a few months early from his Sharks contract, was full of praise for both John Mitchell and Dick Muir, with the latter in particular understood to have played a huge role in his decision to move up to Johannesburg. Our information is that a complete breakdown in communication between Murray and Sharks coach John Plumtree only served to make Murray’s decision that much easier. The departure of Murray now means that, aside from JP Pietersen, the Sharks have essentially lost every single one of the young backline players unearthed by Muir in the 2005 Currie Cup and developed over the next few seasons. There’s a lesson in that, somewhere, if only somebody could be bothered to learn it.
The news in Joburg is not all good, though, with prop Heinke van der Merwe, arguably one of only 2-3 really class players still contracted to the Lions, set to leave immediately to join Leinster in Ireland. It would appear that the return of CJ van der Linde to South Africa has opened up a spot at the Dublin club and it was only a matter of time before van der Merwe, who like Wian du Preez appears to be well behind in the Bok pecking order, decided to cut his losses and chase the money.Tweet