Tigers pull off Pietersen coup


Leicester Tigers have announced the capture of South Africa wing JP Pietersen for the 2016-17 season.

Capped 66 times by the Springboks, Pietersen was part of the squad that won the Rugby World Cup in 2007 and also appeared in the 2011 and 2015 tournaments - scoring five tries as South Africa finished third last year.

The 29-year-old is playing his club rugby in Japan for the Panasonic Wild Knights, but will move to Welford Road later this year.

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 [Australia international] Matt Toomua coming in for next season we are adding to that strength."

Pietersen said: "I'm really looking forward to joining up with a quality team like Leicester Tigers and competing for silverware in the Premiership and European 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."

Leicester also announced a trio of contract extensions on Monday, with Telusa Veainu, Matt Smith and Adam Thompstone all agreeing new terms.