Leicester sign Pietersen

Date published: January 11 2016

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Leicester Tigers have announced that Rugby World Cup winner JP Pietersen will join the club ahead of the 2016/17 season.

Pietersen was part of the triumphant South Africa squad in the 2007 World Cup and also played in the 2011 tournament in New Zealand and in 2015 in England. He has scored 22 tries in 66 Test caps since making his international debut in 2006.

Currently playing club rugby in Japan with Panasonic Wild Knights, the 29-year-old Pietersen was South Africa Players' Player of the Year in 2012 and will arrive in Leicester later this year.

Leicester Tigers director of rugby Richard Cockerill said: "We have been looking to add world-class quality throughout the squad and JP is certainly in that class.

"He has played at the very highest levels of the game for a long time but he still has a lot to offer and is keen to experience club rugby in Europe.

"JP is a world-class finisher and offers a threat in the wide channels.

"We have a strong group of players in the backline already here and with JP and Matt Toomua coming in for next season we are adding to that strength."

Pietersen, who played with Natal and the Sharks in South Africa, said: "I'm really looking forward to joining up with a quality team like Leicester Tigers and competing for silverware in the Premiership and Champions Cup.

"I have spent the majority of my career in South Africa and the past few years in Japan and I feel that it's a perfect time to experience something new.

"I hope to contribute to the team on and off the field in any way I can. I'm looking forward to joining the Tigers after my final Super Rugby season with the Sharks."

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