Aviva Premiership

Hougaard joins Worcester for short stint

South Africa international Francois Hougaard has joined Worcester Warriors on a short-term deal until the end of the Premiership season.

Hougaard, who has played for the Bulls in Super Rugby since 2008, could make his debut for Dean Ryan's struggling side against Sale Sharks this weekend.

The versatile 27-year-old, capable of featuring at scrum-half or on the wing, was a part of South Africa's World Cup squad in 2011 and boasts 35 Test caps.

He has recently represented his country in sevens rugby, but will take time away from that format to experience the Premiership for the first time.

Springbok Sevens coach Neil Powell said: "This is a great opportunity for Francois and he was always keen on the idea of exploring playing opportunities overseas.

"He has kept us informed at all times and we had him scheduled to skip the next couple of tournaments anyway, because of our rotation system."

Worcester director of rugby Ryan welcomed Hougaard's arrival, stating: "Francois is a livewire scrum-half with enormous experience at the top level in South Africa.

"His signing is a statement of intent of where we are heading as a club and we are genuinely excited about what he can bring to the table."

The Warriors sit 11th in the 12-team Premiership having won just two matches this term.

Hougaard added: "Hopefully I can add some experience to the side and we can start pushing our way up the table in this last block of games."