Bulls Prop Werner Kruger has agreed to join the Scarlets in Wales after the 2016 Super Rugby season on a three year deal.
Thirty-one-year-old Kruger made his Super Rugby debut for the Bulls in 2008 against the Stormers and has played 113 matches, scoring eight tries (40 points) up to date.
Kruger has also played in four tests and one tour match for the Springboks. His international debut was on 23 July 2011 vs Australia in Sydney aged 26.
Kruger became the first Bulls player to earn 100 caps in both Super Rugby and the Currie Cup in August 2015 having made his provincial debut in 2007. He was part of the Bulls team that won both the 2009 and 2010 Super 14 finals.
The Bloemfontein born tighthead represented South Africa Under 21s on six occasions in 2005-06 before going on to represent the Emerging Sprinboks (2009) and South Africa (2010 tour) winning four senior international caps in 2011-12.
Scarlets Head Coach Wayne Pivac said: “We’re pleased to announce that Werner will join us ahead of the forthcoming 2016-17 season. He will further strengthen us at the set piece and will bring vast experience having played both sides of the scrum.
“To have a player of Werner’s experience available for the whole season is something we haven’t had for some time. His presence here at Parc y Scarlets will be a huge plus for the young tightheads developing through the region.”
Scarlets General Manager of Rugby Jon Daniels added; “Following on from the arrival of a quality lock in David Bulbring last week we are delighted to announce that international tighthead Werner Kruger will join the region ahead of the new season.
“Werner is a strong addition to the squad bringing a vast amount of experience from Super Rugby and the international stage. Having been informed that Rhodri Jones had made a decision to leave the Scarlets at the end of the season it was imperative that we recruited quality in that position to support the other tightheads in the squad.”
Commenting on the move Werner Kruger added; “Both me and my family are really looking forward to this next chapter at Parc y Scarlets. I believe the time ahead will be a time for growth and learning.
“We are especially looking forward to experiencing all that the Welsh have to offer, making a difference and playing great rugby.”
Xander Janse van Rensburg, High Performance Manager of the BBC said, “Werner is a true stalwart for the Bulls and Blue Bulls over many seasons,”
“He has played over 100 Currie Cup matches and over 100 Super Rugby matches so far for us, the only player ever to do that. We can only thank him for many years of loyal service. We know he will still give his best till his last second on the field for us, but also want to wish him the best in the next stage of his career.”
Kruger said he is looking for a different challenge in his career.
“I achieved so much with this special team and hopefully can win another Super Rugby title with them this year. I played all my rugby here since leaving school, became a Springbok, won Super Rugby titles and a Currie Cup and made friends for life, but the option with Scarlets is the right one for me at this stage of my career. I always wanted to play abroad and this offer comes at the right time.”
“I know I still have something to offer the Bulls this season and then help Scarlets in their drive to improve as a team.”