SA rugby’s ‘deadline day’ proved particularly damaging for the Johannesburg-based Lions franchise.
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Midnight on Thursday, 14 May heralded the end of a three-week period in which SA players could escape their current contracts and sign on the dotted line for any overseas club willing to pay for their services.
When the clock struck 00:00, the Lions had a total of four players and an assistant coach packing their bags.
Springbok hooker Malcolm Marx, utility back Tyrone Green, lock-cum-loose forward Ruan Vermaak and flyhalf Shaun Reynolds will all ply their trades elsewhere when rugby eventually resumes post-Covid-19.
In addition, the Lions also lost highly-respected up-and-coming assistant coach Neil de Bruin.
In the Lions’ press statement confirming the departures on Friday, there was no mention of where Reynolds would be heading.
Reynolds has played second-fiddle to Springbok Elton Jantjies in the No 10 jersey in recent years. Jantjies ironically was also rumoured to mulling a move abroad, but in the end opted to stay in Mzansi.
It has since come to light that Reynolds will be joining French Pro D2 club, USON Nevers Rugby, who call their 7 500-capacity Stade du Pre Fleuri home.
The club, based in Nevers in central France, found themselves in fifth spot in the 16-team strong log of French second tier rugby when the coronavirus brought an abrupt halt to sport around the world.
Reynolds, 24, has played 16 Super Rugby matches for the Lions.
– Compiled by Garrin Lambley
#DONEDEAL: Congrats to @Shaun10reynolds on his official move to @usonneversrugby!
We wish you all the best going forward on your new journey!
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— In Touch Sports (@InTouchSports) May 15, 2020