Lions find an able Super Rugby replacement for Franco Mostert

Cape Town - The Lions, desperately searching for a replacement for recently departed star lock Franco Mostert, have confirmed that Stephan Lewies has joined the union ahead of the 2019 Super Rugby season.

Lewies, who will turn 27 later  this month, is currently playing for the Kamaishi Seawaves in Japan.

Lewies has been on the Sharks’ books since 2012 as has played 63 Super Rugby matches for the union, but his career has been blighted by injuries in recent times.

He featured in one Test for the Springboks - against Scotland in Port Elizabeth in 2014 - when he came off the bench to replace captain Victor Matfield in South Africa's 55-6 win.

In 2016, Lewies was included in a South Africa 'A' squad that played a two-match series against a touring England Saxons team.

He was named in the starting line-up for their first match in Bloemfontein - a game the Saxons won 32-24.

Despite attempts to hang onto Mostert, the Lions lost their battle to do so and the 29-Test second-rower has formally joined former Lions coach Johan Ackermann at Gloucester in England.

The Lions, beaten Super Rugby finalists the past three seasons, open their 2019 campaign against the Jaguares in Buenos Aires on Saturday, February 16.