Josh Strauss has made an early exit at the Golden Lions after signing a three-year contract with the Glasgow Warriors.
There have been several rumours about Strauss’s expected departure in recent weeks, including talks about a move to seven-time Super Rugby champions the Crusaders.
On Tuesday afternoon, the Lions confirmed the release of the former captain and loose forward. The 25-year-old will complete the move to the Scottish club over the next two weeks.
‘We are pleased that we could come to an agreement with Josh and the Glasgow Warriors, which will allow Josh to fulfill his desire of playing rugby in Europe for an extended period,’ Golden Lions president Kevin de Klerk said in a press release. ‘We want to thank Josh for his contribution at the Lions and wish him all the best with his future.’
Strauss added: ‘I am very grateful to the Lions for the opportunities afforded to me to grow as a player and thereby assisting me in being able to make this change now.’
Strauss is the fifth player to leave the Johannesburg union, following the announcement of their Super Rugby relegation in August. Props Jacobie Adriaanse (Scarlets, Wales) and Caylib Oosthuizen (Free State Cheetahs), and locks Ruan Botha (WP) and Paul Willemse (Blue Bulls) have all confirmed their departures.
The loss of Strauss contradicts De Klerk’s assertion that a group of contracted players will remain at the Lions until the end of 2013. De Klerk made these recent statements as he argued against rumours of a mass exodus.
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 Super Rugby contract clause), Guy Cronje, Jaco Taute, Alwyn Hollenbach, Lionel Mapoe, Dylan des Fountain, Bradley Moolman, Deon van Rensburg, Deon Helberg, Andries Coetzee, James Kamana.