The Golden Lions Rugby Union moved swiftly to deny rumours that Josh Strauss will join the seven-time Super Rugby champion Crusaders for next year’s tournament.
Media outlets picked up on rumours posted on the social media outlet Twitter, which made the startling claims about the team’s former captain’s alleged departure from Johannesburg.
However, the GLRU pointed out it was unfounded rumours, posted by a fan who highjacked their logo and name, to make the claims.
“No truth to rumor about @JoshStrauss1 as started by @LionsRugby_23,” The GLRU said on their official twitter account.
“CEO [Ruben Moggee] and President [Kevin de Klerk] have confirmed this is not true.
“Sorry. @LionsRugby_23 use our name and logo without prior permission and have started the rumor. Will consult on action to take,” the Lions tweeted.
The false reported, from the fan, was reproduced by several media outlets as fact.
Posting under ‘MTN Lions Rugby’ as @LionsRugby_23 the fan caused a stir.
Strauss, who will play at lock for the Lions against Griquas in an important Currie Cup match in Johannesburg on Friday, also dismissed the rumour.
Strauss, speaking to Ballz Internet radio station, confirmed that even though his agent is looking around at overseas opportunities, there is not offers on the table and he rains a Lion.
He is still contracted to the Lions till the end of next year.
The rumours about player movements – so far only four players have confirmed their departure – follows the decision by the South African Rugby Union to strip the GLRU of their Super Rugby status for 2013.
“As stated before, the decision taken at the SARU General Council meeting to eliminate the Lions from Super Rugby in 2013 is very disappointing,” De Klerk said in a recent statement.
“Media speculation of an immediate exodus of players have created further uncertainty amongst supporters and stakeholders and Lions management therefore deem it prudent to confirm that the larger group of senior players are contracted at least until 31 October 2013.”
The list of senior players contracted till October 2013 include JC Janse van Rensburg, CJ van der Linde, Callie Visagie, Pat Cilliers, Hendrik Roodt, Franco van der Merwe, Derick Minnie, Jaco Kriel, Michael Rhodes, Stephan Greeff, Josh Strauss, Warren Whiteley, Michael Bondesio, Ross Cronje, Whestley Moolman, Elton Jantjies, Guy Cronje, Jaco Taute, Alwyn Hollenbach, Lionel Mapoe, Dylan des Fountain, Bradley Moolman, Deon van Rensburg, Deon Helberg, Andries Coetzee, James Kamana.