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Harlequins sign Andre Esterhuizen after meeting lofty wage demands

Andre Esterhuizen has signed for Harlequins

HARLEQUINS have agreed to pay André Esterhuizen around £340,000 a year to tempt him to the Twickenham Stoop next season.

The Sharks centre had been linked with a move to France and Sale Sharks next term.

But Blindside has been told from a source in South Africa that Quins have won the race to sign the Springbok international, 25, after agreeing to his enormous wage demands.

Esterhuizen, who come through the system with the Sharks but has played in Japan for the Munakata Sanix Blues, wants to become the latest to quit the Durban-based franchise.

His future in South Africa has been in doubt since he was axed from the Springboks World Cup-winning squad, but that now looks to be sorted with a move to Quins.

Head of rugby Paul Gustard has already moved to hand a new contract to centre Luke Northmore, given a first-team chance in the absence of Super Rugby-ready Joe Merchant.

The former England U20 star flew to Auckland before the turn of the year after requesting to join the Blues on loan and that has allowed Northmore to step in.

Harlequins went back to the well to sign Northmore from Cardiff Met University, the same team they prised star No.8 Alex Dombrandt away from in 2018, last summer and the back has since made three senior appearances for the senior team.

“We have been really impressed with Luke in the time he has been at the club,” Gustard said of Northmore.

“He has had a frustrating time with injury this season, but we recognised early on his ability was better than the potential we saw at university.”

Quins have been looking to add a marquee player to their squad especially with the future of Kyle Sinckler, who is out of contract this summer, still unresolved.

NEIL FISSLER

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