Leicester Tigers complete the triple signing of EW Viljoen, Jordan Coghlan and Hanro Liebenberg
Leicester Tigers have agreed the signing of EW Viljoen from the Stormers in Super Rugby.
The South African outside-back has represented his country at schoolboy and Under-20s level and made 28 appearances for the Cape Town-based Stormers since his debut in 2017.
Viljoen made his Currie Cup debut for the Western Province in 2014 and was selected in the Springboks Under-20s squad for the Junior World Championship the following year, in which he played a starring role on the way to South Africa’s third-place finish in the tournament.
Speaking about Viljoen’s addition to his squad, Tigers head coach Geordan Murphy said: “EW is a versatile, skilful and exciting player to have as part of our group.
“He has an impressive resumé for a young man and, at only 24, it’s encouraging to know he still has plenty of improvement left in him.
“EW adds a lot to our outside-back stocks and provides valuable depth in the squad.”
Viljoen said: “The chance to represent a club like Leicester Tigers is one I could not pass up and I’m very excited about the challenge of playing in Premiership rugby.
“I want to play my role and make a contribution to getting Tigers back to where a club of their history and tradition belongs, which I believe Geordan Murphy is building towards.
“It’s an exciting chance to experience northern-hemisphere rugby and I can’t think of a better place to be able to do that than Welford Road.”
The South African is Tigers’ 11th new signing of the summer and joins Jaco Taute, Noel Reid, Johnny McPhillips and Joe Thomas as additions to the backline stocks at the club.
Jordan Coghlan moves across Midlands to Tigers
Jordan Coghlan has agreed a move to Leicester Tigers from Championship side Nottingham Rugby ahead of the 2019/20 season.
The Irish-born back-rower has spent the past three seasons with Nottingham after stints with both Leinster and Munster.
Born in Dublin, Coghlan joined Leinster’s academy at 16 and made his senior debut in 2012. He also represented Ireland Under-20s and was a two-time winner of the British and Irish Cup.
In 2015, Coghlan joined Munster and made eight appearances in one season there before moving to Nottingham. He has since made more than 60 appearances for the East Midlands club.
Speaking about Coghlan’s arrival, Tigers head coach Geordan Murphy said: “Jordan is a physical, athletic and experienced player who we are looking forward to welcoming into the club.
“His junior career speaks for itself and achievements in Ireland as a young man have served him well in his career.
“He is an exciting talent and he has earned his spot with impressive showings for Nottingham over recent seasons.”
Coghlan 26, added: “This is Leicester Tigers – the most successful club in English history. For me, to be part of that is a huge honour.
“Geordan Murphy is working hard to build something special here and get Tigers back to the top of the Premiership, where they belong, and I’m happy to be a part of that. I’m just looking forward to getting stuck in.”
Hanro Liebenberg bolsters Leicester back row
Leicester Tigers have agreed terms to bring South African back-rower Hanro Liebenberg to Welford Road.
Liebenberg, who can play across the back-row positions, is currently with the Bulls in Super Rugby.
After playing his youth-team rugby at Boland, he moved to Pretoria to play in the Currie Cup with the Blues Bulls and earned his first selection for the Bulls in 2015. He also followed in his brother Wiaan’s footsteps by captaining South Africa Under-20s at the World Junior Championships.
Tigers head coach Geordan Murphy said: “Hanro is an aggressive ball-carrier and a physical player around the field, in the best traditions of South African back-rows.
“He has gained a good level of experience already for a 23-year-old and has good leadership qualities too.
“His best years in the game should still be ahead of him and we look forward to welcoming him for next season.”
Liebenberg added: “The opportunity to play in the Gallagher Premiership is one I am very excited about and to do it at a club of Leicester’s tradition and standing is a huge honour.
“The Tigers fans are well known around the world as some of the best in rugby and I am looking forward to playing at Welford Road in front of them, alongside my new team-mates.
“There is quality across the squad and I’m excited about making my contribution to the team under the guidance of Geordan Murphy and the coaching staff at Tigers.”
Liebenberg is the 12th addition to the Leicester squad ahead of the 2019/20 season and seventh new face in the forward pack alongside Jordan Taufua, Tomas Lavanini, Nephi Leatigaga, Calum Green, Charlie Clare and Jordan Coghlan.