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By Waratahs Rugby Media Unit
Michael Cheika has today confirmed the signing of Bulls’ hard-man Jacques Potgieter on a two-year contract.
The 27-year-old Springbok will join NSW prior to the start of the 2014 Super Rugby competition, following the completion of a season in Japanese rugby.
"In building our 2014 squad I wanted to profile one of our locks as a no-nonsense, hard and strong ball carrier and tackler, experienced and hungry to add these qualities to our squad,” explained Cheika.
“Jacques fits this profile perfectly and his experience in the back row also gives us extra quality in our forward depth.
"We have some excellent locks and back rows in our squad with different profiles and adding a quality recruit like Jacques to our team will definitely make for more competition within our squad, which should make us more competitive against our opponents.”
Potgeiter, who played his last game for the Bulls in the Super Rugby semi-final loss to the Brumbies, will complete a season in the Japanese Top League before joining his NSW team mates for the start of next season.
"I’m really looking forward to joining the Waratahs for Super Rugby and spending time in a great city like Sydney, he said.
“The Waratahs play a style of rugby that I really enjoy and I’m looking forward to working with Michael Cheika."
VIDEO: Potgieter in devastating form for the Bulls
Jacques Potgieter biography
Position: Back row/lock
Date Of Birth: 24.04.1986
Place of Birth: Port Elizabeth
Provincial Rugby Caps: 28 (Eastern Province)
Provincial Rugby Points: 45
Provincial Rugby Debut: 2009 v Border
Super Rugby Caps: 23 (Bulls)
Super Rugby Points: 20 (4t)
Super Rugby Debut: 2012 v Sharks
Test Rugby Caps: 3 (South Africa)
Test Rugby Points: 0
Test Rugby Debut: 2012 v England
The hard-running, hard-tackling Jacques Potgieter joins the NSW Waratahs from South African side the Bulls, whom he has represented for the past two seasons.
He made his Super Rugby debut against the Sharks in 2012, using his inaugural season to great effect and earning a place in the Springbok squad.
He went on to make his Test debut against England at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in June 2012, going on to earn a further two caps, the latest in the 16-all draw against Argentina in Mendoza that August, before a groin injury forced him into surgery and ruled him out of contention for the Springboks’ end of year tour.
Born in Port Elizabeth, Potgeiter represented Eastern Province in South Africa’s annual Craven Week schoolboys rugby tournament in 2004, before clinching a move to the Natal Sharks. Moving through the youth levels, he spent two years playing in the Vodacom Cup before stepping up to Currie Cup in June 2009 when he moved back to the Eastern Province Kings.
After two and half years, in August he signed for the Blue Bulls for 2012 on a two-year contract, before securing an early release and joining them the following month.
Known for his physicality, in two years with the Bulls the back row/lock has earned 23 Super Rugby caps, most recently the home semi-final loss to the Brumbies.
The 27-year-old will join NSW in time for the start of the 2014 Super Rugby season, following the completion of a short-stint with Japanese Top League side Fukuoka Sanix Blues that commences shortly. He has signed on a two-year contract, with a release to return to Japan in between.