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Leicester Tigers sign former Springbok captain Jean de Villiers

Published 27/10/2015

Former South Africa captain Jean de Villiers has signed for Aviva Premiership club Leicester
Former South Africa captain Jean de Villiers has signed for Aviva Premiership club Leicester

Leicester have announced the signing of former South Africa captain Jean de Villiers.

No length of contract has been specified by the Aviva Premiership club, but 34-year-old De Villiers will link up with the Tigers on December 1.

Centre De Villiers won 109 Test caps, but he announced his retirement from international rugby after suffering a broken jaw during South Africa's 46-6 World Cup pool victory over Samoa at Villa Park last month.

During a distinguished career, he featured in three successive World Cup campaigns, including being part of South Africa's world title-winning squad eight years ago.

He is the Springboks' most capped centre, while only three South Africa players - Victor Matfield, Bryan Habana and John Smit - have made more Test match appearances.

" Jean brings invaluable experience to the squad," Leicester rugby director Richard Cockerill said.

"He is among the leading centres in the modern game and has played at the very highest level for a significant period of time.

"In recent seasons, we've brought in players like Brad Thorn and Lote Tuqiri from successful environments in the southern hemisphere, and they have made a significant contribution here.

"The signing of Jean de Villiers is another move in that style, and we look forward to welcoming him and his family to the Tigers and to him starting work with us on December 1."

Leicester's first game after De Villiers arrives in the east midlands is a Premiership trip to Worcester four days later.

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