Andries Pretorius to leave Cardiff Blues for Worcester Warriors
Former Cardiff Blues captain Andries Pretorius is to leave the Arms Park to join Worcester Warriors next season.
Pretorius, 28, is Warriors coach Dean Ryan's first signing for the 2014-15 campaign, by which time Worcester may no longer be in the Premiership.
Warriors are 10 points adrift at the bottom at halfway, having lost all their first 11 matches this season.
The South Africa-born back-row forward was spotted by the Blues while at Hartpury College in Gloucester.
"I have known Dean Ryan and [head coach] Carl Hogg from my days at Hartpury," said Pretorius. "They are top quality coaches who want to take Worcester to the top of English rugby.
"Dean really impressed me with his long-term vision for the club and I very much look forward to working with the coaching team to achieve their goals.
"I have loved my time at Cardiff Blues. It has been an honour to play for and captain such a great team.
"I will continue to give Cardiff 100 per cent until the end of the season. My focus will then turn to Worcester."
Pretorius, who was brought to the UK by current Wales age-group boss Allan Lewis, made his international debut for his adopted country on last summer's tour to Japan after qualifying on residency grounds.
Pretorius is the latest player to leave the Arms Park, Wales centre Jamie Roberts having departed in the summer for French side Racing Metro.
Wales lock Bradley Davies, who is sidelined with a shoulder injury, is being linked with to a move to Wasps.
The futures of Wales and Lions duo Leigh Halfpenny and Sam Warburton, who are both out of contract in the summer, have yet to be resolved.
The Blues are also losing Robin Copeland to Munster, but have already been linked with Scarlet Josh Turnbull.
They have also seen youngsters Ellis Jenkins, Rory Watts-Jones and Macauley Cook feature strongly in recent weeks.
Meanwhile, Wales Sevens coach Paul John is also being touted as a candidate as the new backs/attack coach at the Blues.
He is expected to replace Gareth Baber who has left the Arms Park in December to become Hong Kong Sevens coach.