The Lions have agreed to release their captain Elton Jantjies for a short stint at French club Pau.
The Springbok flyhalf will join the Top 14 outfit as a "medical joker" - a common term in French rugby for a player who joins a club as an injury replacement on a short-term basis.
The Lions said the decision was made in collaboration with SA Rugby to give the player valuable game time ahead of the Springboks' series against the British & Irish Lions.
A statement from the Lions read: "Upon request from Elton Jantjies and in conjunction with SA Rugby, Lions Rugby Company has released the player for an opportunity as medical joker with French club Pau in preparation for the British & Irish Lions.
"LRC and SA Rugby are in communication with Elton post the opportunity granted."
Jantjies' presence could come in handy for Pau, who are struggling in the Top 14 this season. They have won only six of 20 games and currently sit a lowly 13th on the standings.
"Elton's experience will be invaluable for the home stretch of the season," Pau president Bernard Pontneau said in a statement.
"He is a player who will bring confidence to the group. His arrival allows us to secure a position impacted by injuries."
The Lions were scheduled to play in the Rainbow Cup later this month but there are strong rumours that South African participation in the event will be halted because of Covid-19 regulations.
Several insiders have confirmed to Sport24 that British rugby authorities are wary of continued government restrictions preventing the Bulls, Lions, Sharks and Stormers crossing their borders due to Covid-19 fears related to South Africa's variant strain.
Upon request from Elton Jantjies and in conjunction with SA Rugby, LRC has released the player for an opportunity as medical joker with Pau in preparation for the British & Irish Lions. LRC & SA Rugby are in communication with Elton post the opportunity granted.#LionsPride pic.twitter.com/Ra3pYrcvCo— Lions (@LionsRugbyCo) April 13, 2021