Leicester Tigers will welcome South African back rower Marco Van Staden to the club ahead of the 2021/22 season.
The Springboks flanker will join Tigers from Super Rugby side The Bulls, with who Van Staden starred for in their recent Super Rugby Unlocked and Currie Cup competition-winning campaigns.
Capable of playing across the back-row, the 25-year-old will link-up with fellow countrymen and forwards Jasper Wiese, Hanro Liebenberg and Cyle Brink, as well as Jaco Taute and Kobus Van Wyk in Leicester.
Van Staden was born in Krugersdorp in South Africa’s West Rand and played his youth rugby with the Limpopo Blue Bulls, before representing 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 – in the prestigious Varsity Cup competition.
The loose-forward made his Currie Cup debut in 2017, Super Rugby debut in 2018 and – one year later – was selected to make his Test debut for the Springboks against Argentina in Durban, before narrowly missing out on selection in South Africa’s Rugby World Cup squad for the 2019 tournament in Japan.
In November of 2019, following his home nation’s successful World Cup campaign, Van Staden was selected in the Barbarians squad for their three-match tour and featured against Wales in Cardiff.
Speaking about the addition of Van Staden, Leicester Tigers Head Coach Steve Borthwick said: “Marco will be a welcome addition to our club next season, who we are excited to see in Tigers colours.”
“He is a tough, hard-working, competitive player who we are confident will add to what we are building here at Leicester Tigers.
“In addition to what Marco will bring on the field, his character and dedication have shone through in our conversations with him and we are looking forward to what he will add to our environment off the field.”
Discussing his move to Tigers, Van Staden admitted he was impressed by initial conversations with head coach Steve Borthwick.
“What stood out for me when talking to Steve is that the club is working together towards one goal of getting the club back to the top,” said Van Staden.
“The professionalism of Steve and the club stood out for me and his commitment in improving every player specifically for the better of the team and club.”
Looking ahead to joining the club, the Springboks forward added: “I will give everything towards what the coach expects of me. I like the physical parts of the game and will do my best to add to the team in those areas.”
“I believe the style of the game in the Premiership suits me, in the physical battles, and am really looking forward to playing that style of rugby at Leicester Tigers.”
Van Staden will join Leicester Tigers in the summer ahead of the 2021/22 campaign.