Super Rugby

Swys de Bruin's son joins Johan Ackermann's staff in Japan

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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 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.

De Bruin, whose job description at the Lions read 'attack, backs and skills', is the son of former Lions coach Swys de Bruin.

In the Lions' press statement confirming the departures on Friday, there was no mention of where De Bruin would be heading.

It has since come to light that he will in fact be joining up with another former Lions head coach, Johan Ackermann, at Japanese Top League team, NTT Docomo Red Hurricanes.

Ackermann, who preceded Swys de Bruin as Lions coach, had left the Lions for English side Gloucester prior to the 2017/18 season.

However, on Friday - a day for departures - it was also confirmed that Ackermann would be leaving the Cherry and Whites and would be continuing his coaching career in Osaka, Japan.

- Compiled by Garrin Lambley

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