Saints sign South African centre Pat Howard

Saints director of rugby Jim Mallinder
Saints director of rugby Jim Mallinder

Saints have further strengthened their squad for next season with the signing of Western Province centre Pat Howard.

The 23-year-old was part of the Province side that won the 2014 Currie Cup, and earlier this season spent three months on a short-term with Munster, playing in both the Pro 12 and European Rugby Champions Cup.

Howard had returned home to Cape Town to join the Western Province squad ahead of the Super Rugby campaign, but he will now be heading north to join Saints this summer.

“I really enjoyed my time in Europe earlier this year and was delighted when Saints showed interest in me,” said Howard.

“It is a great opportunity for me to be joining a fantastic club and continue to develop as a player. I cannot wait to pull on the Saints jersey!

“I have had a great time coming through the ranks at Western Province, but feel that now is the right time to experience something new overseas.”

Howard was a Junior World Championship winner with South Africa in 2012, and Saints director of rugby Jim Mallinder is delighted to have secured his signing.

“Pat is a young player who has shown plenty of promise in the Currie Cup, Pro 12 and Champions Cup,” said Mallinder.

“We’ve been impressed by what we’ve seen, but believe that there is more to come from him and are looking forward to seeing Pat develop in our squad.”

Howard made 22 appearances for Western Province, scoring five tries, and played nine times for Munster, dotting down once in a Champions Cup hammering of Sale Sharks.

He has played three times for South Africa Under-20s, scoring once.