Burger Odendaal: Northampton sign South African centre after short Wasps stint

Burger Odendaal: Northampton sign South African centre after short Wasps stint

Burger Odendaal scored his only try for Wasps against Gloucester last September

Northampton Saints have signed South African centre Burger Odendaal for the 2023-24 season.

The 29-year-old former Bulls skipper joined Wasps ahead of the current campaign but moved to Japanese rugby when they went into administration.

The last of his four appearances for Wasps was in a 40-36 home defeat by Northampton on 9 October.

“The last couple of months have been a crazy time for my family and I,” he told the Saints website.

“We were just getting used to life in the UK when everything happened with Wasps, and the Premiership from what I experienced so far is a competition filled with great teams, so I’m really looking forward to returning and testing myself in English rugby once again.”

Odendaal began his career with Bulls before joining the Lions franchise in 2020.

“Throughout my career, I’ve maybe been seen just as someone who can act as a bit of a battering ram in the midfield, but I believe there is a lot more to my game than just taking the ball into contact – I like attacking to space and playing attacking rugby, so it’s exciting for me to join a team like Saints who play in that style already,” he added.

He is the second signing made by Saints for next season following the recruitment of England hooker Curtis Langdon from Montpellier.

“We had a good look at Burger even before he had signed for Wasps, so we know he is a quality player,” said director of rugby Phil Dowson.

“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.”

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