Welsh club Ospreys have announced the signing of Springbok outside back JJ Engelbrecht.
“Ospreys Rugby are delighted to announce the signing of South African international JJ Engelbrecht, subject to work permit,” the club posted on their official website.
In what has been described as “a major coup” for the region, one of the Southern Hemisphere’s most exciting backs is set to arrive at the Liberty Stadium this month on a contract that runs until the end of the current European season.
The 26-year old Engelbrecht has been capped 12 times by South Africa, scoring four tries, having established himself as a hard running centre/wing combining pace and power at 1.9m tall and 95kg.
Andrew Millward, Ospreys’ Rugby General Manager, commented:
“For the Ospreys to secure such a quality player is a major coup and we are looking forward to welcoming him to the region.
“Clearly, with the enforced retirement of Andrew Bishop and the long-term injury to Ashley Beck, we’ve found our midfield resources stretched at times this season. JJ is a much needed, quality addition to the squad, who not only brings experience at the highest end of the game, but also a real dynamism in the wider channels.
“He fits the mould in terms of what we are looking for in his position. All successful teams need significant strength in depth and we’ve been talking about adding depth to the squad for a fair while. Clearly, supplementing our current options with a quality player like JJ will help us as we look to compete on two fronts in 2016.”
From Port Elizabeth, Engelbrecht first made an impact in the Currie Cup with Western Province where, as a 20-year old, he was among the replacements in a memorably tight contest against the 2009 British & Irish Lions.
With a growing reputation in his homeland he was snapped up by the Bulls in 2011 and made his Super Rugby debut the following year with his international bow coming that same summer.
He has been a mainstay of the Bulls’ Super Rugby squad over the last four seasons, not missing a single game in either of the last two seasons and playing every minute of their 2015 campaign in the No 13 shirt. In total, he has made 65 appearances for the Bulls, scoring nine tries.
Off the back of last year’s Super Rugby season he headed to Japan for the 2015/16 campaign with Toyota Industries and will arrive at the Liberty Stadium this month following the conclusion of the Top League season.