The Lions have confirmed that loose forward Jaco Kriel has signed a deal to join English side Gloucester.
The Springbok flank has been sidelined with a shoulder injury since last year which has prevented him from taking any part in the Lions’ 2018 Super Rugby campaign.
The Johannesburg franchise on Monday released a statement indicating that they have agreed to release him to the English club, where he will join up with former Lions coach Johan Ackermann.
News of Kriel's intended departure to Gloucester broke in December last year, but was at the time denied by Kriel's management team.
The Lions statement read:
Lions Rugby Company (Pty) Ltd. can confirm that Jaco Kriel has committed to a contract with UK-based Gloucester.
Jaco has unfortunately been plagued with injuries stemming from 2017’s international duty and has therefore not been able to play for the Lions this season.
We are always sad to lose a player but to lose a player of this stature hurts the franchise and the industry.
We wish Jaco a speedy recovery and rehabilitation and hope to see him plying his trade back in South Africa in the future.