The exodus of senior players from the Golden Lions in Johannesburg is continuing unabated. American Eagles captain Todd Clever has joined the growing list of players departing ahead of the Currie Cup season that kicks off next month.
This follows after a recent announcement that Springbok prop Heinke van der Merwe will be leaving the Golden Lions to play for Irish club Leinster on a two-year deal.
Now add to that other departures in the last 12 months such as World Cup-winning Springboks Jaque Fourie (to the Stormers) and Andre Pretorius (Western Force), Willem Alberts (Sharks), Louis Ludik (Sharks), Gerhard Mostert (Sharks), Dewald Senekal (Toulon, France), Willie Wepener (Clermont, France), Ernst Joubert (Saracens, England), Ethienne Reynecke (Saracens, England) and Anton van Zyl (Stormers).
It is obvious that player recruitment remains a problem in for the Johannesburg-based outfit.
After three seasons as a Lion, the American flank, Clever, bids South Africa goodbye and turns to new opportunities with Japan-based Suntory.
The move will allow the 27-year-old Clever not only to prove himself in another league, but also to spend more time playing and promoting the game in his home country.
“It is now time to take the next step in my career and explore new challenges,” Clever told eaglesxv.com in an interview.
“I have decided to continue my playing career in Japan and also focus on helping USA Rugby reach higher plateaus of achievement.”
Clever departs from South Africa on good terms, taking with him fond memories of the team he is leaving behind.
“I am thankful for the opportunities that the Lions have given me,” said Clever, the only American playing Super Rugby.
“I have had three seasons here – two Super 14s and a Currie Cup. I have had three coaches and have won over each of them by showing my dedication and heart. I have been proud to put on the Lions jersey week in and week out.”
This article is courtesy of rugby365.comTweet