Warriors’ South Africa scrum-half Francois Hougaard is to join Wasps for the 2021/22 Gallagher Premiership season.
Hougaard, 32, has won 46 international caps and joined Warriors in February 2016 and immediately became a fans’ favourite at Sixways by helping the side to five wins in his first six matches.
Before joining Warriors, Hougaard played for Western Province, Bulls and Southern Kings in South Africa where he first worked with Alan Solomons, now Warriors’ Director of Rugby.
“Hougie has been an outstanding servant for the club and over the past five seasons and has played a key role in keeping Warriors in the Gallagher Premiership,” Solomons said.
“Francois’ contribution has been immense. He is a class player and the consummate professional. He is also a fantastic person and a terrific team man.
“He has been an absolute pleasure to work with and will be sorely missed by us all. We wish him all the best in his new venture and would like to assure him that he will always be welcome here at Sixways.”
When Hougaard does return to Sixways it will be in gold and black rather than gold and blue but he will leave Warriors with fond memories of his five years at the club.
“I couldn’t have asked for a better start to my career in any part of the world than I had here with Warriors,” Hougaard said.
“It’s been an unbelievable journey over the five years. There have been loads of ups and a few downs as there anywhere during your career.
“It’s been a special time at Warriors. It’s a place that I will always keep close to me. I have played with a special group of players and I would also like to thank the fans and everyone who has supported me over the last five years and who has had an impact on my career.
“It has been a hell of a ride and I am looking forward to the rest of this season and finishing on a high.”
Hougaard will leave Sixways at the end of his current contract. Warriors have already recruited two experienced scrum-halves in England international Willi Heinz (Gloucester Rugby) and Will Chudley (Bath Rugby) for next season.