Former Bok 'days away' from signing deal with Lions
Cape Town - Former Springbok behemoth Willem Alberts is set to make his return to the Lions next week.
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The forward - dubbed the Bone Collector - has come full circle. Alberts made his professional debut for the Lions in 2005 and is reported to be days away from signing a new contract with his former club.
Lions CEO Rudolf Straeuli confirmed to The Star that Alberts will arrive in South Africa next week.
"He will then undergo medicals," said the former Springbok coach.
"No contracts are signed before a player passes the medical tests."
The 43-Test veteran last ran out for the Springboks in 2016 and has been plying his trade for Stade Francais in Paris since 2015.
The Lions also signed former Springbok prop Jannie du Plessis to bolster their ranks. He joins the talented Jamba Ulengo, Dan Kriel and Roelof Smit in furthering their careers in Johannesburg.
The Lions have been hard hit by a number of departures and injuries to key players and are looking to fill the voids across the park ahead of the tournament which starts with a trip to Argentina to face the Jaguares for new coach Ivan van Rooyen on Saturday, February 1.
Apart from coach Swys de Bruin's exit, the Lions will also be without Sylvian Mahuza, Madosh Tambwe, Ruan Combrinck, Harold Vorster, Lionel Mapoe, Nic Groom, Kwagga Smith, James Venter, Stephan Lewies, Lourens Erasmus, Malcolm Marx, Robbie Coetzee and Jacobie Adriaanse - among others - in 2020.
In addition, Hacjivah Dayimani will split his attention between Super Rugby and playing for the Blitzboks, while skipper Warren Whiteley has a long-term injury which has sidelined him from rugby for the foreseeable future.