Cape Town - The Lions have denied that they intend to sign a deal with Springbok and Bulls scrumhalf Rudy Paige.
Afrikaans weekly newspaper, Rapport, reported on Sunday that the Lions had identified Paige as a suitable replacement for Faf de Klerk, who earlier this year left to play for English club Sale Sharks.
However, Lions CEO Rudolf Straeuli on Monday denied the report.
He told Netwerk24, the web version of Rapport: “I can give the assurance that no contract was signed with Paige. It’s always been our aim to bring players through from within our own structures and we’re very happy with the progress that Marco Jansen van Vuren has made as a scrumhalf this year. Our age group teams are also performing fantastically and that is where we’ll first look for players for the senior group.”
Paige was on the Lions' books earlier in his career, before joining the Bulls in 2012.
The 28-year-old has played 11 Tests for the Springboks since making his debut against the Unites States of America at the 2015 Rugby World Cup in England.
Eight of his Tests appearances however came as a substitute.