Mallinder happy as Saints sign South African prop

Jim Mallinder (picture: Kirsty Edmonds)

Jim Mallinder (picture: Kirsty Edmonds)

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Jim Mallinder believes Saints are getting a player of real potential after signing loosehead prop Francois van Wyk from Super Rugby side Western Force.

The 25-year-old will move to Franklin's Gardens this summer, having impressed the Saints coaches during his 12 appearances for the Force.

Van Wyk is South African born and represented hometown club Western Province, having come through the academy setup in Cape Town.

He made the switch to Perth in 2014 and has been a powerful presence for Western Force, utilising his 17st 13lb frame to full effect.

He will now move to Saints, where he will provide competition for Alex Waller and Campese Ma'afu, filling the void left by Ethan Waller, who is off to Worcester Warriors.

And Mallinder said: “We’ve been impressed with what we’ve seen from Francois in Super Rugby over the past couple of seasons.

“He’s a strong scrummager and still relatively young for a front row forward.

“We believe that Francois has plenty of potential to continue improving and are pleased that he will be joining us at Franklin’s Gardens next season.”

Van Wyk is the Saints’ sixth signing for next season, joining Rob Horne, Cobus Reinach, Piers Francis, Jamal Ford-Robinson and Mitch Eadie in penning deals with the club.