Super Rugby

Harlequins confirm signing of Sharks, Bok centre

Cape Town - English club Harlequins have announced the signing of South African centre Andre Esterhuizen, who joins them from Super Rugby side the Sharks.

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The 25-year-old, who has played eight Test matches for the Springboks, will join up with the club ahead of the 2020/21 season to bolster the side’s attacking options in the midfield.

Esterhuizen recently featured for Warren Gatland’s Barbarians side that played against Wales, while he scored against Fiji at Twickenham Stadium in November.

Standing at 1.93m, weighing in at 113kg and with 72 Super Rugby appearances, Esterhuizen is renowned for his big tackles and ball-carrying impact, picking up the nickname ‘The Giant’.

Esterhuizen joined the Sharks in 2013, making his debut in a 72-6 victory against the Border Bulldogs, coming on as a substitute in the second half. He was first included in the side’s Super Rugby squad for the 2014 season and made his South Africa debut against Wales in 2018.

As reported on Sport24 earlier in the week, it is believed that Esterhuizen will pocket a cool £340 000 (R6.4 million) per year.

Upon joining Harlequins, Esterhuizen said: “When the opportunity to play for Harlequins came up, I knew it was the right move for me to develop my career and get the chance to play in the Premiership, as well as experience the European competition, which have always been dreams of mine.

“Paul Gustard and his team are building something special there and to have the chance to work with a young and dynamic coaching group such as Nick Evans and Sean Long is really exciting and I can’t wait to run out at The Stoop and show them what I can bring to the team.”

Head of rugby at Harlequins Paul Gustard added: “Andre is an incredible signing for Harlequins. He is a current Springbok who has the ability to change any game through his raw power and strength in the contact areas.

“His physical abilities are impressive enough, but we were further attracted by his capacity to be a second playmaker, distributing before and through the line. He is a fantastic talent and his addition to our squad is very exciting.

“Besides his ability on the field, which are without debate, he is a tremendous human being. He has the character that we want and at 25 is entering his prime as a player. He will join a backline that we feel can grow together and develop into an elite unit. We look forward to welcoming André and his young family to the club as he embarks on a new journey in his career.”

- TeamTalk Media

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