Johannesburg - The Lions have lost the services of lock Franco Mostert after he signed a contract to play for French Pro D2 outfit Lyon after his contract ends this year.
According to SuperSport.com, Mostert, who has been the heart and soul of the Lions tight five and is highly regarded as a potential future Springbok, was unveiled on the Lyon website as part of their 12 new recruits for the upcoming season which starts later this year.
While it is unclear whether he will be released after Super Rugby or only join the team in November when his contract ends, Mostert is seen as a major part of Lyon’s hope of moving back into the French top 14 again.
Lyon have signed him to partner New Zealander Josh Bekhuis while Samoan Maselino Paulino is the third lock on their signing roster this season.
The club have also signed former Wallaby flyhalf Mike Harris and England fullback Dylon Armitage while prop Francisco Gomez Kodela of Argentina is also among the new recruits.
The news comes after the Lions last week admitted they would allow certain players to play in Japan in the coming season, with reports already linking Warren Whiteley and Jaco Kriel to Japanese clubs before returning for Super Rugby.
Flyhalf Elton Jantjies has also reportedly signed on for two more seasons in Japan but has also extended his contract with the Lions while Warwick Tecklenburg has a year to go with his Japanese club as well.
The Lions chose not to respond when asked for comments on the Mostert signing.