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GLRU Bids Farewell to Franco van der Merwe


Following a seven-year relationship, the Golden Lions Rugby Union will release lock Franco van der Merwe at the request of the player.

The Springbok has opted to take up a new challenge abroad and will join Ulster at the conclusion of the 2014 Vodacom Super Rugby competition.

Van der Merwe has celebrated a lengthy and prosperous career at the GLRU, winning the Absa Currie Cup tournament with the Golden Lions side in 2011, assisting the team in gaining readmission to the Vodacom Super Rugby tournament in 2013 and also earning Springbok selection in 2013.

Additionally, Van der Merwe celebrated 100 caps for the Golden Lions and was named the GLRU Player of the Year in 2013. He has stamped his authority as one of the most respected senior players in the squad.

While Van der Merwe will not travel with the Lions for their Vodacom Super Rugby tour to Australasia, as a result of injury, the 31-year-old will look to end his Lions tenure off on a high as he aims to make a comeback in July. 

In the meantime, Van der Merwe will spend time assisting the Golden Lions U19 forwards as he has done for several weeks.

Golden Lions Rugby Union Chief Executive Officer Manie Booysen expressed his gratitude for Van der Merwe’s years of service and wished him all the best for his future endeavours.

“We would like to thank Franco for all his contributions to Lions rugby over the years. We are grateful to have had a player of his calibre within our ranks,” shared Booysen.

“The management and staff of the GLRU would like to wish Franco and his wife all the best for their move abroad and their future prospects. We hope to see more of Franco in future and would love to have him involved in our structures, once more, in the years to come.”


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