World Cup winner Malcolm Marx is one five people who will leave the Super Rugby Lions after South African rugby introduced the industry salary plan (ISP) to deal with the repercussions of Covid-19. The 21-day window allows for players and staff to cancel their current contracts with immediate effect. 

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This is what the Springboks hooker has opted to do and he will now return to Japan, a country that has become very familiar to the 25-year-old in recent times. 

South Africa won the World Cup final in Yokohama last November and rather than return for the start of the 2020 Super Rugby season, Marx took a sabbatical and turned out for Shining Arcs in the Top League season that was cancelled in March. 

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Now, rather than settle back into the way of things at the Lions, he is now poised to take up a contract at the Kubota Spears, who are coached by former two-time Super Rugby champion coach Frans Ludeke.

The four others who have opted out of the Lions under the ISP are Ruan Vermaak, Tyrone Green, Shaun Reynolds and Neil de Bruin. Lions CEO Rudolf Straeuli thanked them for their valuable contributions. 

“There is always a big sense of loss and sadness when we lose family members. We wish them well on their journey ahead and thank them for some very special times spent with the Lions,” he Straeuli.

As it stands there is yet no return to work date at the Lions for its remanning staff following the pandemic. The club have appointed a Covid-19 task team to ensure their premises are safe to return to work once prohibited to do so.

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