Cape Town — Swys de Bruin has parted ways with the Lions , the union confirmed on Friday.
The 59-year-old, who has served as an assistant coach and head coach at the union for the last seven years, suffers from depression that forced him to return home from the Lions' Australasian tour during the 2019 Super Rugby season.
The Lions, who reached the 2018 Super Rugby final under De Bruin in the season after he replaced Johan Ackermann as head coach, released a statement on Friday confirming the news.
"Swys has made a ground-breaking contribution in the style of play and attacking patterns of the team whereby memorable tries have been scored at Emirates Airline Park," CEO Rudolf Straeuli was quoted as saying.
"On behalf of the management, players and supporters we thank him and wish him well in his future endeavours."
During his tenure the Lions won the Vodacom Cup in 2013, the Currie Cup in 2015 and reached the Super Rugby finals is 2016, 2017 and 2018.
"It was an unbelievable seven years with the Lions family," De Bruin said.
"Thank you to everyone who made it special and memorable. I pray for the team to receive God's blessings.
"The Lions will always have a special place in my heart, and always remember as a team we play to score tries and inspire people by the way we play."
The Lions confirmed that they would proceed with an internal process and consult with SA Rugby in appointing a successor.
- Compiled by Lloyd Burnard