Franco heading to Ireland?
Lions and one-time South Africa second row Franco van der Merwe has reportedly signed for Irish province Ulster.
Van der Merwe, who is currently sidelined for the rest of the Super Rugby season with an ankle injury, will come in as a direct replacement for another former Springbok in Johann Muller according to reports in the South African press.
Muller is set to retire at the end of the season after a successful stint in Belfast, winning the captaincy and guiding the side to the 2012 Heineken Cup Final.
Van der Merwe spent time with the Sharks on-loan last season in Super Rugby before returning to Johannesburg with the Lions.
He made his only appearance for South Africa against New Zealand last year in The Rugby Championship, after being involved in the national squad for around 18 months.
The 31-year-old's departure will be a blow to the Lions, while Ulster will hope he can emulate Muller's success.