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Former South Africa back row Heinrich Brussow will join Northampton in January upon completion of his contract with Japanese club Docomo Red Hurricanes.

The 31-year-old won the last of his 23 caps in 2015 and spent 12 years with the Super Rugby team the Cheetahs before heading to Osaka to sign a full-time contract in the Top League, where he has spent the past two seasons.

“My wife and I feel it is time for a new challenge. I want to play my best possible rugby and hopefully contribute to winning a few trophies,” the openside said.

Brussow has been signed as a replacement for Louis Picamoles, the France number eight who joined Montpellier in the summer after completing only one year of his three-year deal.