Leicester Tigers will welcome former Springboks Under-20s lock Eli Snyman ahead of the 2021/22 season.
Currently playing for Benetton Rugby, the 24-year-old, 6ft 7in and 17-stone forward will join Tigers in the summer after finishing in Italy.
Born in Zimbabwe, Snyman represented the country at age-grade levels before attending the University of Pretoria – the alma mater of former Springbok captains Victor Matfield and Joost van der Westhuizen as well as former Leicester Tigers director of rugby Heyneke Meyer – where he represented the UP Tuks.
The second-rower joined the Blue Bulls youth programme in 2015 and made his senior debut for the Pretoria-based side in South Africa’s Currie Cup competition in 2016. A Super Rugby debut for the Bulls followed during the 2019 competition, before moving to Treviso ahead of the 2019/20 PRO14 season.
Speaking about the addition of Snyman to the Leicester squad, head coach Steve Borthwick said: “We are looking forward to welcoming Eli to Leicester next season.
“He is a big, powerful and tough forward, with experience in both southern and northern hemisphere rugby, who will be a valuable addition to our pack at Tigers.
“At just 24, we are confident Eli’s best rugby is still ahead of him and excited about the improvement ahead of him, as well as what he will bring to our club on and off the pitch.”
Discussing his move to Tigers, Snyman said he was “excited” about linking up with his Leicester team-mates under Steve Borthwick’s leadership.
“Speaking with Steve, I am really excited about his vision for the club and I have been following the games so far this season and it has been great to see the team doing well, it’s exciting to know I will be a part of it.”
“When Steve speaks, you know he is a good leader and you want to follow him.”
When asked about what he will bring to the Tigers squad, Snyman added: “I am all about the guys around me and a hard working player, who shuts up and gets on with the job.”
“I take a lot of pride in the set piece and am looking forward to playing my role in the Tigers team.
“I am expecting a physical game in the Premiership and looking forward to it.”
Snyman will join Leicester Tigers in the summer ahead of the 2021/22 campaign.