Jasper Wiese will leave Leicester Tigers at the end of the season
Jasper Wiese to depart Leicester at the end of the season after the South African World Cup winner turned down a deal from the Tigers in favour of a lucrative offer to play in Japan
- Jasper Wiese will leave Leicester when contract runs out at the end of the season
- South African No 8 was in negotiations with the Tigers over a potential new deal
- But the 28-year-old is now set to earn a signficant pay bump playing in Japan
Leicester’s hopes of keeping hold of their South African World Cup winner Jasper Wiese have been ended after he received a mega-money offer to play in Japan.
Powerful No 8 Wiese helped the Springboks to global glory in France earlier this year.
He has been a vital and impressive figure for the Tigers since joining in 2020 with his force key to them winning the Premiership in 2022.
The 28-year-old is out of contract at Leicester at the end of the season and had held talks with French giants Stade Francais about a lucrative move to the TOP14. Mail Sport reported that after some consideration, a transfer to Paris was ruled out and Leicester head coach Dan McKellar subsequently said last month he hoped Wiese would stay with the Tigers.
The two parties were in negotiations over a new deal to stay at Welford Road, but Leicester’s contract on the table was blown out of the water by the money on offer in Japan.
Jasper Wiese will leave Leicester at the end of the season after agreeing a deal to play in Japan
It is understood Wiese will earn a salary increase of more than 50 per cent by moving to the Far East with his club destination set to be confirmed in the coming months.
Suntory Sungoliath and Kobe Steelers – who have New Zealand forwards Sam Cane and Ardie Savea on one-year contracts – could be possible destinations.
On Thursday, Leicester confirmed Wiese will be leaving at the end of the season for a move abroad. ‘I’ve loved every minute of my time at the club and will continue to give my all for my team and my team-mates,’ said Wiese.
‘This is a special place for me and my family. We have a lot more memories to create this season.’
Wiese will join a host of his South African team-mates who are already playing in Japan in Cheslin Kolbe, Faf de Klerk, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Damian de Allende, Jesse Kriel and Franco Mostert.
Wiese had been in negotiations with the Tigers over a new deal but opted to take a more lucrative offer from the League One
Japan’s League One is now seen by the world’s best players as a go-to destination alongside France’s TOP14. This year’s World Cup final between eventual winners South Africa and New Zealand involved 13 players who feature for clubs in the country.
Japan offers rugby’s top stars high salaries and a style of play that while less taxing on the body in a short, six-month season, is also of a quality that is improving and improving fast.
It is no longer seen by players as a retirement home.
Savea – World Rugby’s current player of the year, Beauden Barrett, Cane, Richie Mo’unga, Aaron Smith and Brodie Retallick are all New Zealanders currently in Japan too.
The South African World Cup winner could join a Tokyo Sungoliath side who recently signed New Zealand captain Sam Cane on a one-year deal
Japan’s national side confirmed the return of former England boss Eddie Jones as their new head coach this week and their domestic game has ambitious plans for ongoing growth.
In the first round of League One action last weekend, the average attendance at the six matches was only just below that achieved in Europe’s Champions Cup.
A total of 70,575 watched the Japanese action at an average of 11,762 per game. In the Champions Cup, the average attendance across the 12 matches was 13,079.
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