Francois Hougaard could be the latest Springbok to be lured back to South Africa by Jake White’s Bulls franchise.
Hougaard had been linked with a move to Japan in December, but the rugby rumour-mill is now suggesting the Worcester Warriors scrumhalf may have already signed with the resurgent Blue Bulls, Rugbypass reported.
Hougaard spent eight seasons with the Super Rugby franchise between 2008 and 2015, and his return would be a major boost for White’s increasingly star-laden squad.
The Hougaard signing rumour makes sense, especially in the context of rumours linking current scrumhalf Ivan van Zyl with a move away from the side.
In 2018 Hougaard has committed his long-term future to Worcester Warriors by signing a new contract to keep him at Sixways until 2021, a contract which is now coming to an end.
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 32-year-old is one of the more physically imposing scrum-halves in world rugby and can slot in on the wing when needed.
Over Christmas, the Bulls confirmed that they had captured No.8 Marcell Coetzee from Ulster and they have also been linked with Montpellier fullback-cum-flyhalf Johan Goosen, who is set to choose between the Bulls and his former side, the Cheetahs.