Lions have confirmed the departure of hooker Akker van der Merwe, who will now move to their Super Rugby rivals Sharks for the upcoming season.
The 26-year-old made his professional rugby debut with the Currie Cup side Leopards in 2013 and joined Lions in 2014. Van der Merwe also had a short loan stint with the French club Racing 92 during the start of the 2015/16 Top 14 season.
His last appearance for Lions came in the final of the Super Rugby 2017 season which his team went on to lose to Crusaders with a 17-25 margin at Emirates Airlines Park. Overall, he has featured in 18 games for Golden Lions.
Van der Merwe will join the Sharks squad this week and is expected to take part in the pre-season games against Blue Bulls in Pretoria on Wednesday and Golden Lions on Saturday.
Sharks, who finished second in Africa 2 Conference was eliminated from the 2017 season after losing the quarter-final against Lions with a 23-21 margin.