Francois Hougaard (born 6 April 1988) is a professional South African rugby union rugby player. He is currently playing for Worcester Warriors. His primary position is scrum-half, but also can play on the wing.
|Date of birth||6 April 1988|
|Place of birth||Paarl, South Africa|
|Height||1.81 m (5 ft 11 1⁄2 in)|
|Weight||93 kg (205 lb; 14 st 9 lb)|
|School||Paul Roos Gymnasium, Stellenbosch|
|Rugby union career|
He played for Western Province in 2007 before joining the Blue Bulls; he spent eight seasons at the Pretoria-based team, representing them in the Currie Cup as well as playing Super Rugby for the Bulls.
He scored a try in the Currie Cup final win 36-24 against the Free State Cheetahs (3rd min) following a superb crosskick from Fourie du Preez for his first final at 21 (the youngest player in the starting line) wearing the number 14 jersey.
In the 2011 Super Rugby season, he showed great promise, adapting to his self-proclaimed preferred position of scrum half in the absence of Fourie Du Preez, very well, and as a result, landed a position in the Springbok World Cup Squad for the 2011 tournament. At school he played for Paul Roos Gymnasium.
In February 2016, Hougaard signed a short-term contract with English Premiership club Worcester Warriors for the remainder of the 2015–2016 season. He made his debut for his new side in their match against Sale Sharks, marking the occasion by scoring a try in a 31–23 victory and also put in a man-of-the-match performance in their 15–14 victory over the Newcastle Falcons two weeks later. On 15 March 2016, it was announced that Hougaard signed a permanent contract with the team, but would be allowed to link up with the South African sevens team to participate at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
His first tour with the Springboks was to France, Italy, Ireland and England in late 2009 where he played in one test against Italy on 21 November 2009 and two touring matches. Hougaard helped his team to win both the Currie Cup in 2009, and the Super Rugby title in 2010, scoring tries in both finals
Hougaard was selected and joined off the bench for South Africa's opening match scoring in the 65th minute in a 17-16 win over Wales. He was however dropped for the second game against Fiji which South Africa won 49-3 but started against Namibia in which he scored two tries and came off the bench against Samoa. South Africa was however knocked out of the Cup, losing 11-9 to Australia. Hougaard came on in the 50th minute during that match.
Hougaard started all five games at scrum half against England and Argentina and scored one try against England. However, he was moved to the wing and his place at scrum half taken by the talented Ruan Pienaar in the first Championship Test against Australia on 8 September 2012.
Hougaard signed a one-season contract with SA Rugby to represent the Blitzboks in the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series and at the Rio Olympics. Played in the first four legs of the 2015/16 series and scored the winning try in the 3rd/4th playoff against Australia at the Dubai Sevens.
He was a member of the South African Sevens team that won a bronze medal at the 2016 Summer Olympics. During the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro Hougaard was included as a travelling reserve, but was included on the bench for the final day of the Rugby sevens tournament after Seabelo Senatla injured his wrist during the pool stages. After the medal ceremony Hougaard offered his Bronze medal to Senatla, stating that: "he deserves it more".
- "Warriors capture Springbok scrum-half Hougaard" (Press release). Worcester Warriors. 5 February 2016. Retrieved 15 March 2016.
- "REPORT – Warriors 31-23 Sale Sharks". Worcester Warriors. 20 February 2016. Retrieved 15 March 2016.
- "REPORT: Newcastle Falcons 14-15 Warriors". Worcester Warriors. 4 March 2016. Retrieved 15 March 2016.
- "Hougaard commits future to Warriors" (Press release). Worcester Warriors. 15 March 2016. Retrieved 15 March 2016.
- "Springbok Sevens bring the heat" (Press release). South African Rugby Union. 4 November 2015. Retrieved 4 November 2015.
- Haden, Alexis. "Francois Hougaard gave Seabelo Senatla his Olympic bronze medal". www.thesouthafrican.com. Retrieved 27 August 2016.