London - South Africa scrumhalf Francois Hougaard has signed a permanent contract with Worcester, the English Premiership side announced Tuesday.
The 27-year-old arrived at Sixways on a short-term deal in February but has now committed his future to the Midlands club.
Hougaard, who has won 35 Springbok caps, is set to join up with South Africa's Sevens side for the Rio Olympics but will return to Worcester ahead of next season.
"Francois has come in and had a huge influence on the side in such a short space of time," Worcester rugby director Dean Ryan said in a club statement.
A two-time Super Rugby title-winner with the Bulls, Hougaard scored a try on his Worcester debut in last month's win over Sale and Ryan added: "You can see the difference he has made to the squad and that comes from a wealth of experience from his time in Super Rugby and playing internationally.
"We're delighted he's decided to be a part of our journey and we hope he can be a catalyst for us moving forward."
Worcester are tenth in the 12-team Premiership but are 13 points clear of bottom-of-the-table London Irish, who currently occupy the lone relegation place.
Meanwhile Hougaard said he was looking forward to helping Worcester climb up the table: "I haven't been here long but I've become really fond of Worcester.
"There are a great bunch of players here and they've made the transition very smooth since coming from South Africa Sevens.
"Now my aim is to help drive Warriors up the Aviva Premiership table and to achieve our long-term goal of becoming a top European side."