CONFIRMED: Springbok Francois Hougaard puts pen to paper at new English club

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Francois Hougaard in Worcester Warriors colours. (Photo by Tony Marshall/Getty Images)
Francois Hougaard in Worcester Warriors colours. (Photo by Tony Marshall/Getty Images)

English club Wasps have confirmed the signing of Springbok utility back Francois Hougaard.

Hougaard will join his new team from the Worcester Warriors at the conclusion of the 2020/21 European season.

This puts to bed any hopes that Bulls fans may have harboured of the player returning to Loftus Versfeld.

Earlier reports indicated that Hougaard could move back to the Bulls, who were in the market for a new scrumhalf after Ivan van Zyl's decision to join Saracens.

"I am massively excited to be joining such a great club in Wasps. They have some brilliant players and play a wonderful brand of rugby," Hougaard told Wasps' official website.

"I was hugely impressed by the ambition of the club and the vision and philosophy of the coaches. I can't wait to continue my career with a new challenge and hopefully I can make a difference to what is already a great squad."

It is believed that a factor in Hougaard's decision not to return to South Africa is because he will qualify for British citizenship on residency grounds next year.

The 32-year-old, who can operate at scrumhalf and wing, played 46 Tests for the Springboks between 2009 and 2017.

Wasps head coach Lee Blackett welcomed the signing: "We are delighted to sign an exciting player like Francois for next season.

"We are lucky to have some very talented young 9s and 10s at the club, but with Dan Robson often away on international duty, we feel adding Francois' experience will be invaluable to the balance of youth and experience within the team.

"Francois has been a proven Premiership operator with Worcester for a number of years now and we are looking forward to seeing him put in some top performances in a Black and Gold shirt next season.

"We are all looking forward to working with him and believe he will be an extremely positive influence on our squad."

Hougaard started his professional career at Western Province in 2007, before moving to the Bulls the following year.

He played for the Bulls between 2008 and 2015, before joining Worcester in 2016.

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