Northampton Saints have announced the signing of South African international flanker Heinrich Brüssow into the club’s squad.
The 31-year-old burst into international rugby consciousness during the 2009 British and Irish Lions’ tour to South Africa, when his combination of aggression and tenacity – especially at the breakdown – caught the eye of supporters and commentators alike.
“After five seasons in Japan, my wife and I feel it is time for a new challenge,” he said. “I feel humbled to be afforded the opportunity to join a club with such a rich history and traditions.
“Franklin’s Gardens is one of those special places you hear some of the best players in the world talk about and the thought of representing a team like Northampton Saints is something that excites me immensely.
“I am looking forward to learning from new coaches, team mates and getting know and experience everything Northampton has to offer. The reputation of the Saints as a team speaks for itself and I want to play my best possible rugby and hopefully contribute to winning a few trophies.
“The last couple of years in Japan have been really special in terms of experiencing a totally different environment, culture and a unique style of rugby in a unique league. I have definitely grown as a person and as a player and will always be grateful for the way NTT Docomo and the people of Osaka welcomed and supported myself and Caroline during our time here.”