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Dublin: 11 °C Wednesday 23 October, 2019
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Jean de Villiers may face Munster in the Champions Cup after signing with Leicester Tigers

De Villiers will join the Tigers on December 1.

De Villiers played for Munster in the 2009/10 season.
De Villiers played for Munster in the 2009/10 season.
Image: Cathal Noonan

FORMER SOUTH AFRICA captain Jean de Villiers may be in line for a return to Thomond Park this December, after it was confirmed that the 34-year-old has joined Leicester Tigers.

De Villiers, whose 13-year career with the Springboks came to an end after a fractured jaw during the World Cup, has put pen to paper on a deal with the Premiership club.

The centre will link up with his new side on December 1, meaning he could be available for the Champions Cup double-header with his former side Munster before Christmas.

Leicester take on Anthony Foley’s side in Thomond Park on December 12 before the return tie the following Sunday at Welford Road.

De Villiers spent a season with the Irish province in 2009/10, in between two spells in Super Rugby for the Stormers, for whom he played 96 times in the competition.

Tigers’ Director of Rugby Richard Cockerill says that the 109-times capped Springbok will bring a wealth of experience to his side, following on from similar foreign imports.

“Jean brings invaluable experience to the squad. 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.”

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Neil Treacy

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