Johannesburg - Springbok flanker and former Golden Lions captain, Wikus van Heerden, has signed with the Lions and will be available from July 1 to October 31, 2012.
Van Heerden, or "Captain Courageous", as he was commonly referred to, left the Lions at the end of the 2006 Absa Currie Cup competition to join the Vodacom Bulls, and thereafter moved to Saracens.
He will remain at Saracens until the end of their season on June 30 before moving back to Johannesburg.
Van Heerden on Monday commented he was excited about returning to the Lions. "Since my time at the Lions I have grown as a player and have gathered much experience at both the Bulls and Saracens.
"I am hoping to utilise this experience and make an impact when I join them later this year".
The GLRU are excited about signing Van Heerden, who has spent most of his formative rugby career with the Johannesburg-based team.
"It's always good to sign a new player, but when it's a former star player returning, it makes it a little more special.
"Wikus returning is exciting, and we see this as just one more step in the right direction for the GLRU," said CEO Manie Reyneke.
Of the various unions in South Africa, why the Lions? "The Lions have always been a very special team to me.
"I spent nine years at the Lions before moving over to the Bulls. At that stage I needed a change.
"With all the changes at the Lions now and with the new people appointed, this is an exciting and ideal opportunity for me to make the most of what is left of my rugby career.
"And who knows, maybe I can be a part of a winning Super 14 or Currie Cup team while at the Lions".
Van Heerden will join the Lions ahead of the 2010 Absa Currie Cup, where he is expected to be a regular in the starting 15.