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According to Planet Rugby South African Franco van der Merwe may be without a club before he even started for them as Cardiff Blues have a growing financial strain.

The club have appointed a new director of development in Clive Jones with Blues chief executive Richard Holland explaining at the time:

“Due to the ongoing financial challenges the business faces, we must put all our efforts into developing from within if we want to be competitive in the future.

“This fits into the Welsh Rugby Union’s strategy and there will be further investment into our realigned academy system to ensure we maximise the potential from within.”

Van der Merwe was signed from Ulster earlier this yeat bur unfortunately for the Springbok second row he has become a casualty of the financial crisis in the Welsh game and Blues’ chairman Peter Thomas’ reluctance to invest.

The 34-year-old has been released and is now reportedly being courted by newly promoted Premiership side London Irish.