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Another Springbok Japan-bound

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Another Springbok Japan-bound

Lions flank Albertus ‘Kwagga’ Smith has agreed to join the Japanese club Yamaha Júbilo.

The 25-year-old has signed a short-term contract with the side and will not be available for the Golden Lions’ Currie Cup campaign.

The former BlitzBoks player will return to the Lions ahead of the new Super Rugby season.

Smith’s eventual return will be a sigh of relief for the Lions, who face a mass exodus of senior players at the end of the season.

Confirmed departures include centre Rohan Janse van Rensburg (to Sale Sharks) prop Ruan Dreyer (Gloucester), lock Franco Mostert (Gloucester – although the Lions have disputed this) and flank Jaco Kriel (Gloucester).

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While, speculation that fullback Andries Coetzee (Sale Sharks, Gloucester & Toulon) and prop Jacques van Rooyen (Bath) have been linked to European clubs.

Flyhalf Elton Jantjies, flank Cyle Brink and utility back Lionel Mapoe have also been linked to moves abroad.

Commenting on his move to Japan, Smith said: “I am honoured to be a member of the Yamaha family as the next step of my own rugby career.

“I have visited Japan, but I have the impression that it is a very beautiful country, and each other I am very impressed with the culture.

“I am convinced that the transfer to a team playing high quality like Yamaha will lead to further growth and leap as a player.

“Also my wife is looking forward to living in Japan so I will try my best to make a big contribution to the team.

“I am grateful to all the stakeholders of Yamaha who gave valuable opportunities like this time and I am looking forward to seeing you all.

“I will do my best to win the top league.”

@rugby365

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Another Springbok Japan-bound