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Rugby News

Tigers to add Van Wyk to front row ranks

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Leicester Tigers will welcome South African front-rower Francois Van Wyk to the club ahead of the 2021/22 season.

The 29-year-old will make the move from fellow East Midlands club Northampton Saints, where he has spent the past four seasons.

Van Wyk was born in the Western Cape of South Africa and played his junior rugby for Western Province before representing Cape Town University side Ikey Tigers in the Varsity Cup, where he played a key role in their title-winning 2011 campaign.

He made his Currie Cup debut for Western Province in 2013 before moving to Australia to play for Super Rugby side the Western Force, where he spent four seasons. 

Speaking about the addition of Van Wyk, Tigers Head Coach Steve Borthwick said: “We are excited to have someone of his experience, ability and character join us in Leicester.”

“Francois has played top-flight rugby in both hemispheres and will add vital depth to our front row ranks at Tigers from next season.

“Our conversations ahead of his signing have been very impressive and what has shone through has been his willingness to contribute to what we are building at Leicester Tigers and his passion to be a member of our club.

“As we continue to re-shape this squad, people of his character are as important as what they contribute on the pitch.”

Discussing his move to Tigers, Van Wyk admitted it was a “done deal” for him after speaking with Leicester head coach Borthwick and hearing his plans for the club.

“When Steve told me the Tigers were interested in me, I thought it would be a great opportunity,” he said.

“His ambition for the club was very impressive and it played a big part in my decision. The way he spoke about the players and people at the club was inspiring, it was a done deal for me after speaking to him.

“The team Steve is building has a lot of potential to achieve great things and I am excited to be a part of that.”

The loosehead prop also said the challenge of being part of the Tigers pack played a major role in his decision to make the move to Leicester.

“It is going to be a great challenge to be a part of a group with so many world-class players and to join what is becoming one of the best forward packs in the competition,” said Van Wyk.

“I have ambitions to grow as a player and I believe I can do that at Tigers as part of this group Steve Borthwick is building.

“Fans can expect a high work-rate from me and I believe it’s one of my strengths – when I put that Tigers shirt on I will be completely dedicated to it.”

Van Wyk will join Leicester Tigers in the summer ahead of the 2021/22 campaign.