Sharks 'special' for Potgieter
Sydney - Waratahs loose forward Jacques Potgieter says the Sharks have a very special place in his heart after he announced he will return to South Africa next season.
Potgieter, a key member of the Waratahs side that won last year's Super Rugby title, has signed a two-year deal to join the Durban-based Sharks from next season.
The hirsute 29-year-old, who won three Springboks caps in 2012, became a cult figure at the Waratahs after moving to Sydney from the Bulls for the 2014 season.
His hard-running and uncompromising defence helped add a physical edge to a Waratahs pack that had lacked the grunt coach Michael Cheika wanted to lay the platform for an expansive running game.
He became embroiled in controversy earlier this year after being fined A$10 000 for calling Brumbies players "faggots" during a match but apologised and later trained with gay rugby club the Sydney Convicts.
Potgieter said in an Instagram post that Australia and the Waratahs had become like a second home for him.
"(sic)I have decided to sign with the Sharks to go back to my family in South Africa!" he wrote.
"The Sharks has a very special place in my heart, I started my rugby career with them and it is such an honor and a blessing to have the opportunity to join them again and finish what I started in 2005.
"I will continue to give the Tahs my all, if not more than what I've already given. I've had some of my best moments with the Tahs and will forever be thankful to have been a part of this incredible group of people."
The Sharks, semi-finalists last year, have struggled this season with just four wins from 11 games and chief executive John Smit said Potgieter was a "a great acquisition".
"He has been hugely impressive for the Waratahs and will add significant value and depth to our loose trio," the former Springbok skipper said in a statement.
"We look forward to welcoming him back to Durban."