Odendaal's new team revealed
TRANSFER NEWS: South African centre Burger Odendaal will join Northampton Saints ahead of the 2023/24 season.
Odendaal will arrive at Franklin’s Gardens later this year from Japanese side Toshiba Brave Lupus Tokyo, having started this season with Wasps ahead of the West Midlands side being placed into administration.
The 29-year-old previously captained South African sides the Lions (34 appearances) and the Bulls (111 appearances) across the Super Rugby, Currie Cup and more recently United Rugby Championship competitions.
The centre also spent the 2018/19 campaign in Japan with Kubota Spears, and having already showcased his physicality and ball-carrying ability in the Premiership during his brief stint with Wasps, Odendaal is eager to return to England next term.
“The last couple of months have been a crazy time for my family and I, but I am very grateful and excited to have the opportunity to come to Northampton Saints,” he said.
“Having spoken to the coaches, I was really impressed by their honesty, and I enjoy the brand of rugby that Northampton plays.”
Saints’ Director of Rugby, Phil Dowson, added: “We had a good look at Burger even before he had signed for Wasps, so we know he is a quality player.
“We need guys in our midfield at Saints who can move the ball well with the way we want to play, so Burger’s all-round game was an important factor for us.
“He showed while he was in South Africa, and during his short time in the Gallagher Premiership, that he is also extremely capable in defence as well as being a skilful kicker off either foot, and we like his ability to carry the ball hard too.
“He’s very self-aware around his own game, with that typically South African ability to consistently get over the gain line, so we are sure he’ll be a great fit for us.”