Dewald Potgieter: Worcester Warriors sign South Africa flanker
Premiership strugglers Worcester Warriors have signed South Africa flanker Dewald Potgieter in an attempt to shore up their faltering campaign.
The six-times-capped international, 28, is in line to make his debut at home to Bath in the Premiership on Saturday.
Dean Ryan's Warriors are in urgent need of stopping their run of 12 straight defeats in all competitions.
A 20-13 loss to fellow strugglers London Irish on Sunday leaves them just a point clear of bottom side Newcastle.
"Dewald's inclusion in the back row will be of huge benefit to the pack," said director of rugby Dean Ryan.
"He has a wealth of experience at the top level from his time in Super Rugby. He has played with and against some of the best in the southern hemisphere."
Ryan on Warriors' relegation fight
"We're now a real fight. We can't hide from it," Ryan told BBC Hereford & Worcester following his side's seventh straight Premiership defeat at the Madejski Stadium. "Halfway through the season, we're in a fight with three others (ninth-placed Bath, London Irish and Newcastle).
"Sunday was the opportunity to put some space between us and the other two teams below us and we missed it.
"They now have the momentum. We had ours at the beginning of the season and didn't capitalise on that by getting another win on the back of it to keep some distance.
"It was unacceptable to play in a game of this magnitude and not have the energy and commitment we've had. We haven't fallen off games before and I can't immediately come up the reason why. There's no point throwing comments around."
Warriors were not helped by the loss of fly-half Tom Heathcote, who withdrew after suffering a bask spasm in the pre-match warm-up, or then twice being reduced to 14 men following yellow cards for Bryce Heem and Donncha O'Callaghan.
But Ryan added: "The disruption wasn't enough to account for the evidence of what we saw. We froze a little bit.
"People can point to us having a good final 20 minutes but Irish were in charge for 50 to 60 minutes. There was nothing there to warrant us winning."