English Premiership side Exeter Chiefs have boosted their pack by officially announcing the signing of Sharks lock Ruben van Heerden for next season.
The 24-year-old forward is the latest addition brought in by director of rugby Rob Baxter, who is looking to bolster his options up front following the departures of fellow locks Jonny Hill, Sean Lonsdale and Sam Skinner.
Having started his career at the Vodacom Bulls, Van Heerden joined the Sharks in 2018, where he established himself as a top performer in Super Rugby and the Vodacom United Rugby Championship.
The Alberton-born ace joins a Exeter pack that already boasts fellow South Africans Jacques Vermeulen, Jannes Kirsten and Aidon Davis.
“This is such a big opportunity for me,” said the former Junior Springbok. “Speaking with Rob and hearing about the club, I knew I wanted to join straight away. Watching the Chiefs, you can see how hard they work for one another. There are no show ponies in the team, they graft for one another every game and that’s what really appealed to me.
“As I said, moving to England is a different challenge for me, but it’s one I’m really excited about,” Van Heerden added. “I know a couple of the guys [Jacques Vermeulen and Jannes Kirsten] already, so I’m sure that will help me settle in. All I’ve heard, though, is positive and good things, so I can’t wait to get started.”
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