Toulon have announced the signing of South Africa’s World Cup winning winger, JP Pietersen on a two-year contract from Leicester Tigers.
This move was part of a busy day for both teams. Toulon had lost James O’Connor to Sale Sharks in the morning in a transfer that nobody saw coming. Meanwhile, Gareth Owen had just become a Tiger after leaving the title-winning Scarlets citing a lack of game time as the reason.
Pietersen’s illustrious career commenced with the Sharks where he played for 11 years, in 2007 he was Super Rugby’s highest try scorer. With his 70 caps and 24 tries for South Africa, Pietersen has experienced plenty of highs but none will compare to that magnificent victory in 2007 at the World Cup.
After short spells in Japan and England, Pietersen will be looking forward to a new challenge in the south of France. There’s no doubt he will add to an already unbelievable backline possessing the likes of Ma’a Nonu and Bryan Habana. After some low-key seasons which some considered underwhelming, Toulon will be hoping that they can return to the very top of European rugby hoping that they can win back the Champions Cup.
Good news for the Tigers?
Some Leicester fans will see this as a good bit of business as Pietersen hasn’t produced his best for the Tigers. Chief executive Simon Cohen supported the transfer insisting that Matt O’Connor now had a bigger budget to attract the very best players to Welford Road. Cohen had this to say on the issue,
“His departure allows Matt O’Connor a sum within the salary cap for next year and the year after to sign players that fit his vision for the squad and match his playing philosophy for the Tigers.” Via Leicester Tigers.
Tigers fans will be hoping that this transfer means they can compete with the top three Aviva Premiership sides after being left behind for the majority of last year. Could their 15-year wait for European silverware come to an end?
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