"Will Be Hugely Missed" - Harlequins Confirm Departure of Andre Esterhuizen - Ruck

“Will Be Hugely Missed” – Harlequins Confirm Departure of Andre Esterhuizen

Harlequins have today confirmed that Andre Esterhuizen will depart the Club at the end of the 2023/24 season and return to South Africa for family reasons.

The Springboks centre, who joined Quins in 2020, has been granted an early release from his contract to return to South Africa for the 2024/25 season. Regarded as one of the most dominant centres in the game, ‘Andre the Giant’ will depart Quins with more than 82 appearances to his name, playing a pivotal role in Quins’ spectacular run to the Gallagher Premiership title in 2020/21.

Andre Esterhuizen of Harlequins during the Gallagher Premiership match between Harlequins and Newcastle Falcons at Twickenham Stoop, London on the 4th March 2022 – PHOTO: Micah Crook/PPAUK

A World Cup winner with the Springboks in 2023, the 29-year-old has scored 24 tries across four seasons and was voted the RPA Players’ Player of the Year in 2022, alongside the Harlequins Players’ Player of the Year and DHL Fans Player of the Season in 2021/22.

Harlequins Director of Rugby Billy Millard said: “Andre has been an integral member of our squad for the past four years and will be hugely missed. We’re disappointed to lose a player of his calibre, but we understand and respect his decision and wish him well for his career back in South Africa.

“We have an important run of matches to conclude the season and look forward to Andre’s impact as we strive to achieve our objectives.”

Andre Esterhuizen of South Africa on the break is tackled by Richie Mo’unga of New Zealand during the Test Match between New Zealand and South Africa at Twickenham Stadium, Twickenham, London on August 25th 2023. – PHOTO: Phil Mingo/PPAUK

Commenting on his departure, Esterhuizen added: “I’m very grateful to Harlequins for providing me with the opportunity to return home to South Africa and be closer to my family. It’s been a difficult decision but I’m very thankful to the Club for working through the process with me.

“I have loved my time at Quins, the Club has played a huge role in my development and career achievements, and I have forged incredible memories and great teammates. I want to thank the fans for their fantastic support, playing in front of The Stoop every week is very special and I look forward to my final few months at the Club. Once a Quin, always a Quin!”