Scarlets Seal The Deal For Springboks No.8 Uzair Cassiem

The Scarlets have confirmed that South African international No.8 Uzair Cassiem has signed to play for the region next season.

The 28-year-old, who has won eight caps for the Springboks, will join from the Cheetahs after the conclusion of the current Guinness Pro14 campaign.

Cassiem, who can play across the back row, becomes the second non-Welsh qualified player to sign for the Scarlets this month following the lead of New Zealander Blade Thomson.

The two forwards will plug the gaps left by the departing Scotland captain John Barclay and Irishman Tadhg Beirne. Barclay is joining Edinburgh, while Beirne is returning home to play for Munster.

Scarlets coach Wayne Pivac said: “Uzair is a current international who possesses the skills that we believe will suit the way we play the game.

“He’s a dynamic player that likes to carry and has the ability to offload, is a very physical individual and has good aerial skills.

“He’s currently playing at the highest level of the game and faced Wales in the recent autumn series at No 8. He has the ability to play across the back row but has been signed primarily as an 8.”

Cassiem said: “The Scarlets are known throughout the world and are playing some great rugby at the moment.

“When I met with Jon (Daniels, general manager) and Wayne it was clear to see the ambitions of the club and the environment at the Scarlets is just what I am looking for.

“I’ll be giving my all for the Cheetahs for the rest of the season whilst looking forward to the next chapter of my rugby career in South Wales.”

Pivac is also keen to sign Australian back row forward Michael Wells from Super Rugby side, the Warratahs, as he focusses on players who will not be lost to the squad for much of the season through Wales commitments.

Cassiem began his career with the Golden Lions before playing in the Currie Cup for the Pumas and the Falcons.

At the end of 2015, he signed with Griquas, before joining the Cheetahs for the Super Rugby pre-season.

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