Saints confirm Sprinbok prop signing

Northampton Saints have confirmed the signing of South African international prop Brian Mujati from the Stormers in the Super14.

Over the past 12 months Mujati, a 5’11” 24-year-old who weighs in at 118kg, has become a regular in the Springboks’ matchday squads. After catching the eye during his first Super 14 campaign with the Stormers, Mujati was called into the national squad by Peter de Villiers ahead of last year’s series against Wales.

After making his debut against the then-Six Nations champions in Bloemfontein, Mujati made 11 more appearances during the rest of 2008, including in the TriNations and Autumn International series in the UK.

Born in Zimbabwe and educated at Peterhouse School, Mujati began his rugby career in Johannesburg, where he worked his way through the Lions’ youth system, culminating in maiden appearances in the Currie Cup and Super 14. He moved to Cape Town-based Stormers in 2008.

Mujati has signed a two-year contract and will move to Franklin’s Gardens when his 2009 Currie Cup commitments with Western Province have ended.

“I’m excited about the prospect of playing in England,” said Mujati.

“I played there with the Springboks last year and I’m sure I will like living and playing my rugby there, especially at a club like Northampton, which has done well this year. I’ve watched the Premiership on TV and it is a strong league. It will be a new experience for me and a different challenge in a new setting.”

Mujati could come up against future club-mate Euan Murray this summer when the Scot tours with the British and Irish Lions. But the Springbok is not fazed by having to battle with Murray for a Saints starting spot.

“In any team you have to compete for places,” he said. “By the time I get to Northampton Euan will be a Lion and I’ll still just be Brian! I’m looking to improve as a player and I’m sure this will happen at Northampton.”

“Brian is one of the rising stars of South African rugby and I am delighted that he is coming to the Saints,” said director of rugby Jim Mallinder. “Although he is still relatively young for a prop he has amassed a great deal of experience in the Super 14 and with the Springboks, and he can play on both sides of the scrum.

“You cannot have too much strength in depth in the front row and Brian will add to our resources in that area considerably. Having quality players increases the pressure on everyone to perform, which can only be good for the Saints squad as we look to improve further.”

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