American Eagles skipper Todd Clever has signed with Japanese club Suntory, ending a three-year stint in South Africa with the Lions.
Clever is the latest is a long list of players to leave the Super 14 strugglers from Johannesburg, who failed to win a single fixture in the southern hemisphere competition this year.
The 27-year-old explained that his desire to prove himself in another league and to spend more time playing and promoting the game in his home country were the main reasons for his move.
"It is now time to take the next step in my career and explore new challenges," Clever told eaglesxv.com.
"I am thankful for the opportunities that the Lions have given me," said Clever, the only American playing Super Rugby.
"I have had the best teammates a player can ask for, and I am excited for their future progress. The team is about to turn the corner. Though I am sad I can't take the ride with them, I will always be a Lions supporter. Thanks to the Lions as I leave with the door open for future opportunities with Super 14!"