Cape Town - English club Worcester Warriors have announced that Francois Hougaard has committed his long-term future by signing a new contract to keep him at Sixways until 2021.
Hougaard’s contract extension is another statement of intent from Warriors, who have secured the services of a number of key players ahead of the 2018/19 season.
South Africa international Hougaard, 29, has been an influential figure at Sixways since initially arriving on a short-term deal in February 2016.
Hougaard scored a try on his Warriors debut and helped the side win five of his first six matches at the Club.
He soon signed a permanent deal and became Warriors’ first player to win the Premiership Player of the Month award after his sensational start to life at Sixways.
The scrumhalf has gone on to make 29 appearances for the club and has produced a string of stand-out performances.
On the international front Hougaard has won 46 caps for South Africa and was part of his country’s 2011 Rugby World Cup squad and 2016 Rio Olympics Sevens squad, where he picked up a bronze medal.
Before his move to Sixways, Hougaard spent seven years with the Blue Bulls after beginning his career with Western Province.
Hougaard won back-to-back Super Rugby titles with the Bulls in 2009 and 2010, secured Currie Cup triumph with the Blue Bulls in 2009 and reached four consecutive Vodacom Cup finals - winning the competition in 2008 and 2010. He also spent time with the Southern Kings in 2009.
The Warriors' director of rugby Alan Solomons commented: “Francois is an X-factor player who has had a major impact on the fortunes of this club’s performances on the pitch over the last two years.
“His experience, ability, drive and energy have been key for the side. He is a talisman for the team and lifts the players around him so we are extremely excited to have Francois here for the next three years.”
Hougaard added: “I have felt at home at Sixways since the day I arrived at the club and feel fortunate to be part of a squad which is so committed to moving forward in unity.
“We have a fantastic group of players at Sixways who all want to do well for each other and I am looking forward to being part of this club’s future.”