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No hesitation from Howard

Travis PerkinsSponsored by Travis Perkins

The former Stormers centre, who was a Junior World Champion with South Africa Under-20 in 2011, is relishing the opportunity of playing in black, green and gold and in Europe.

“The Saints was an easy choice,” he told SaintsTV. “When I got the offer from them I didn’t even think of looking anywhere else and it’s been great so far.

“Coming to Europe there are a lot more clubs and a lot more opportunity to play at the top level, compared to just five clubs in South Africa. I saw it as an opportunity to get more exposure and to improve my game.

“There’s talent everywhere and the physicality is right up there. The rugby level is very strong.”

The 23 year old is the latest in a long line of South Africans to link up with the Saints, following the likes of Garry Pagel, Brian Mujati and Juandre Kruger to Franklin’s Gardens.

The past success of his countrymen is something that wasn’t lost on Howard during the decision-making process.

“Definitely [it had an influence]. Also, when your agent tells you about the opportunity and says ‘I know a guy, talk to him and find out how he’s done’, it sets a precedent. Guys before have done it and succeeded and it really sets out a path for me.

“It’s something that gives me great confidence.”