Experienced Sharks lock forward Ross Skeate is heading off for a second stint in the French Top 14 after two years in Durban.
The former Stormers second row enjoyed a spell with Toulon from 2008 to 2010 and will now head abroad for the second time to join Agen ahead of the new season.
Skeate's two years with the Sharks has been dogged by injury, with a neck operation earlier this year limiting his participation in the Super Rugby competition.
However, after undergoing rehab Skeate is nearing a return to action.
"I'm going to see a specialist and hopefully should get clearance to be ready to play in a week or so," he told this website.
"It's been really frustrating not being able to play for so long with a lot of time in the gym and running and feeling fine, but you can't take a chance when it's your neck."
The 29-year-old admitted he is disappointed not to be finishing the Super Rugby season with the Sharks after working to hard to get back into shape.
"It's disappointing to be leaving before the end, because when I signed my two-year contract with the Sharks Super Rugby was supposed to be over by the end of June," he explained.
"It's a pity not to be involved in the last few matches and hopefully the guys get into the playoffs as well."
Having previously played Super Rugby down in the Cape for the Stormers at the start of his career, Skeate spoke fondly of his time in the Shark Tank.
"The culture is really friendly here and very team you play for is a bit different, but I've found the atmosphere quite relaxed here much as you'd expect in Durbs," he said.
"The guys are all mates and enjoying going for a beer together, so it's really relaxed behind the scenes."
Having been to France before and learnt the language, Skeate doesn't believe the move will be nearly as daunting this time round.
"I'm really looking forward to the move to Agen and it's a good part of the world to live in for a while," he explained.
"The transition to the new team will be a little easier having been to France before and I understand the culture over there.
"I'm getting on a bit now so I'm excited to make the most of the playing years I have left. As a player you have a great opportunity to travel and see the world, so that's what I plan to do.
"I've probably got about another five years left in me, so after two years in France I might go to japan, but who knows where the game will take me."
By Timmy Hancox
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