Springbok hooker Malcolm Marx will leave the Lions despite the ‘best efforts’ of the Johannesburg-based franchise.
The 25-year-old has opted to sign for the Kubota Spears in Japan, who are coached by former Vodacom Bulls mentor Frans Ludeke.
Back in May, the Lions announced the World Cup-winning hooker was one of four players who would be parting ways with the team as SA rugby’s well-publicised 21-day contractual exit window came to a close.
Despite Marx exercising the exit option, the Lions later stated that they remained in ongoing discussions with Marx and his representatives.
It was hoped that he could ultimately end up staying in South Africa, but a Lions spokesperson has confirmed that deal fell through.
‘We tried our best, but there was nothing more we could do after his agent ultimately decided not to accept it [the Lions’ offer for him to stay].’
LIST | 5 Englishmen who’ll represent other nations when rugby returns
1. Johnny Williams (Wales)
Place of birth: Weston-super-Mare
Back playing rugby following his cancer recovery, centre Johnny Williams is poised to exit Newcastle Falcons to join Scarlets, according to Wales Online. The 23-year-old made an appearance with the red rose on his chest only last year, starting inside-centre for an England XV against the Barbarians. And with a father from north Wales, Williams also qualifies to pull on the red jersey – with that sole appearance at Twickenham not committing him to England as it was an uncapped match.