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Harlequins confirm departure of Springbok Andre Esterhuizen

By Josh Raisey
Andre Esterhuizen of Harlequins celebrates with the Premiership Trophy following his side's victory during the Gallagher Premiership Rugby Final between Exeter Chiefs and Harlequins at Twickenham Stadium on June 26, 2021 in London, England. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

Harlequins have confirmed the departure of South Africa centre Andre Esterhuizen at the end of the season, as reported by RugbyPass.

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The 2023 World Cup winner has been linked with a move to the Sharks in the United Rugby Championship, and although his next move has not been made known, Harlequins have confirmed that he will return to South Africa.

The 29-year-old joined the London outfit in 2020 and has gone on to establish himself as one of the most devastating ball carriers in the league.

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He has made over 80 appearances for the club to date and has scored 24 tries. Across his four years at the Stoop, the South African has won the Gallagher Premiership in 2021 and was named the league’s players’ player of the season a year later.

Harlequins currently sit second in the league and host the Glasgow Warriors in the Investec Champions Cup round of 16 in April, which provides Esterhuizen the perfect platform to end his time with Quins on a high.

After his departure was announced, Esterhuizen said: “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.

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“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!”

Harlequins director of rugby Billy Millard added: “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.”

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