Promising Lions loose forward Ruaan Lerm will be packing down for the Southern Kings in Super Rugby next year.
Lerm is the 20th player to sign for the Kings – who are being bankrolled by SA Rugby after a cash crisis hit EP Rugby.
Lions officials said Lerm would play Super Rugby for the Kings next year and would represent the Pumas in the Currie Cup.
In his last game for the Lions, Lerm scored a try in the side’s Currie Cup semifinal against the Free State Cheetahs.
The Kings, who could win only two of the 15 Super Rugby matches they played last season, are bidding to assemble a squad capable of punching their weight at the top level.
Lerm, 24, first caught the eye when he was selected for the Falcons squad for the U16 Grant Khomo Week in Ermelo.
This led to his inclusion in a South African U16 Elite squad training group.
In 2011, he made the move from the Falcons to Johannesburg- based Golden Lions.
He played in all 14 of the Golden Lions U19s’ matches, His first-class debut came in 2012, during the Vodacom Cup competition.
He started in their opening match of the season against the Leopards in Potchefstroom, where they suffered a 23-16 defeat.
In 2014, Lerm made a loan move to Kimberley to join Griquas for the duration of the 2014 Currie Cup Premier Division, as part of the deal that saw Howard Mnisi move in the opposite direction Of the 20 Kings players signed, the only new faces are Lerm and former Namibian test fullback Chrysander Botha.
The remaining players either played for the Kings in the Currie Cup Premier Division or Super Rugby.
The other signings announced by Kings chief operating officer Charl Crous are Cameron Lindsay, Johann Tromp, Sampie Mastriet, Waylon Murray, Berton Klaasen, Pieter-Steyn de Wet, Ricky Schroeder, Schalk Ferreira, Justin Forwood, Mike Willemse, Martin Bezuidenhout, Louis Fouche, Thembelani Bholi, James Hall, Malcolm Jaer, Tyler Paul, CJ Velleman and Siyanda Grey