JOHANNESBURG: Super Rugby club the Golden Lions have intensified competition for the tighthead prop position by resigning former Springbok Ruan Dreyer from Gloucester.
The forward capped four times by South Africa in 2017 will compete with another former Springbok, Jannie du Plessis, and young Carlu Sadie for the No. 3 shirt.
After returning this year following four seasons with Montpellier, veteran Du Plessis failed to make the expected impact, particularly at scrums.
This opened the door for the much younger Sadie, who moved to the Lions from fellow Super Rugby side the Western Stormers, to stake a starting place.
Now, the competition will become even more intense as the Lions prepare to resume playing once South Africa Rugby gets the green light from government amid the coronavirus pandemic.
There is hope that a domestic Super Rugby competition including the Lions, Stormers, Northern Bulls and Coastal Sharks can kick-off not later than August.
The Central Cheetahs and Southern Kings, who play in the predominantly European Pro 14 competition after being ditched from Super Rugby, may also take part.
Dreyer helped the Johannesburg-based Lions become one of the dominant forces in the southern hemisphere before moving to England two years ago.
His appearances in a Gloucester team under former Lions coach Johan Ackermann were limited by injuries, including a ruptured achilles tendon.
The Lions have also hired speedster Rabz Maxwane, a winger who joined from the Cheetahs after previous stints with the Stormers and Bulls.
Coach Ivan van Rooyen hopes the arrival of Maxwane can help compensate for the loss of exciting utility back Tyrone Green, who many pundits believe is a future Springbok.
Green, who can operate at full-back or on the wing, has moved to English Premiership outfit Harlequins.