Date May 7, 2015 - 9:37AM
Georgina Robinson
Chief Rugby Reporter

NSW cult favourite Jacques Potgieter will return home and join the Sharks at the end of this season.

The Sharks announced the three-Test Springbok's signing on a two-year deal on Wednesday.

He will see out the rest of the season with the Waratahs then move home after winning fans and a Super Rugby title in NSW.

"You have accepted me with open arms, the Tahs and Australia felt like my second home," Potgieter said in an Instagram post.

"I have decided to sign with the Sharks to go back to my family in south africa! The Sharks has a very special place in my heart, I started my rugby career with them and it is such an honor and a blessing to have the opportunity to join them again and finish what I started in 2005.

"I will continue to give the Tahs my all, if not more than what I've already given. I've had some of my best moments with the Tahs and will forever be thankful to have been a part of this incredible group of people! From the bottom of my heart THANK lets go get them."

Potgieter's arrival at the beginning of 2014 was instrumental in helping re-energise an under-performing, Wallaby-stacked Waratahs pack.

His contribution, along with the unique skills of rookie Will Skelton, were the perfect compliment to the class and experience of Wycliff Palu, Michael Hooper, Dave Dennis and the team's all-Wallaby front row of Benn Robinson, Sekope Kepu and Tatafu Polota-Nau.

But his abrasive style and unique, 1980s-style haircut was what won over cynical NSW fans, who frequently gave him a standing ovation in his first season.

This year that style landed the Port Elizabeth-raised South African in hot water. He was fined $10,000 for using homophobic slurs to intimidate the opposition in the Waratahs spiteful derby clash with the Brumbies earlier this season, an act to which he immediately owned up to after the game.

The Waratahs were keen to sign Potgieter beyond next season, but it was always unlikely he would stay after the departure of Michael Cheika, who recruited the 29-year-old.

Sharks boss John Smit said Potgieter was a "great acquisition" for his Super Rugby side, who are languishing near the bottom of the Super Rugby log this year.

"He has been hugely impressive for the Waratahs and will add significant value and depth to our loose trio," Smit said.

"We look forward to welcoming him back to Durban."

Potgieter added: "I am really looking forward to joining the Cell C Sharks. This is the place where I played all my junior rugby and where everything started for me.

"I have great memories of my time in Durban and I am keen to contribute to the team's ambitions in 2016."