Cape Town - Springbok No 8 Pierre Spies has been released early from his contract by French club Montpellier.
Spies, who played 53 Tests for the Springboks between 2006 and 2013, is one of six players who have been released by the French Top 14 club.
Montpellier on Monday announced that Spies, Marvin O'Connor, Antoine Battut, Akapusi Qera, Joffrey Michel and Robins Tchale-Watchou were no longer contracted.
Montpellier’s season ended with a 22-13 defeat to Racing in a qualifier playoff match at the weekend it what turned out to be Jake White’s last match in charge.
White will head for Japan where he will coach the Toyota Verblitz club, with former Scotland coach Vern Cotter taking over at Montpellier.
Other players already earlier announced to leave Montpellier include South Africans Demetri Catrakilis (Harlequins), Duhan van der Merwe (Edinburgh) and Willie du Plessis (Bayonne), as well as Australian Nic White (Exeter Chiefs).