Lions president Kevin de Klerk has denied reports that Josh Strauss will be loaned out to the Crusaders for the 2013 Super Rugby campaign.
Media and social networks have reported that seven-time champions the Crusaders have snapped up the loose forward on loan from the Lions, who will be replaced by the Southern Kings in Super Rugby next year. The news comes as a surprise, considering the Christchurch franchise already has the likes of Richie McCaw, Kieran Read, Matt Todd, George Whitelock and Luke Whitelock in their loose forward department.
This would be a big blow for the Lions, who have already lost prop Jacobie Adriaanse (Scarlets, Wales), lock Ruan Botha (WP), lock Paul Willemse (Blue Bulls) and Caylib Oosthuizen (Free State Cheetahs) in recent weeks. Word is that flyhalf Butch James and hooker Bandise Maku could also make their exits after the Currie Cup.
However, the Lions’ camp has denied the reports about Strauss’s proposed loan. Interim coach Johan Ackermann told keo.co.za that he knew nothing about the deal, while De Klerk also told this site that it wouldn’t be allowed.
De Klerk stressed that only flyhalf Elton Jantjies will be allowed to be loaned out next season as he is the only contracted player who has a Super Rugby clause in his deal.
The Lions currently have 26 players committed until October 2013, with Strauss being one of them.
Lions players contracted until October 2013 – JC Janse van Rensburg, CJ van der Linde, Callie Visagie, Pat Cilliers, Hendrik Roodt, Franco van der Merwe, Derick Minnie, Jaco Kriel, Michael Rhodes, Stephan Greeff, Josh Strauss, Warren Whiteley, Michael Bondesio, Ross Cronje, Whestley Moolman, Elton Jantjies (with contract clause), Guy Cronje, Jaco Taute, Alwyn Hollenbach, Lionel Mapoe, Dylan des Fountain, Bradley Moolman, Deon van Rensburg, Deon Helberg, Andries Coetzee, James Kamana.