Bok star Jasper Wiese reportedly accepts big-money offer from Japan

Bok star Jasper Wiese reportedly accepts big-money offer from Japan

South Africa No 8 Jasper Wiese is reportedly poised to take up a lucrative opportunity in Japan following confirmation from Leicester Tigers that he will depart the club at the season's end.

There has been much speculation over where the hard-running No 8 will head next term, with clubs in South Africa and France interested in his services, but according to a Planet Rugby report, he will be heading to Japan instead.

Initially, it was reported after the Springboks' Rugby World Cup success that Top 14 outfit Stade Francais were close to securing his services.

Those talks have since broken down, with Wiese considering his options, which included a return to South Africa to join the Sharks or Bulls potentially.

But a report in the Daily Mail stated that Leicester's offer to retain Wiese's services were ultimately blown out of the water by an offer by a Japanese club that tabled a salary of more than 50 per cent more than that of the Tigers. The publication added that Suntory Sungoliath and Kobe Steelers are possible designations for Wiese.

However, now it is believed he will be linking up with ex-Springbok forward and former Lions head coach Johan Ackermann.

Ackermann is currently in charge of the Urayasu D-Rocks, who are in the second division of the Japanese Rugby League One side.

The side finished top of the second division last season but failed to secure promotion, losing both of their matches to the Hanazono Kintetsu Liners, who retained their division one status.

Wiese is set to join fellow South Africans Franco Marias, Wimpie van der Walt, Lourens Erasmus, Tyler Paul, Tian Meyer and Shane Gates.

The side also has Tonga fullback Israel Folau and Wallabies Samu Kerevi and Liam Gill on their books as well as former Blues and Maori All Blacks flyhalf Otere Black.

He will also join fellow Rugby World Cup-winning teammates Damian de Allende, Faf de Klerk, Cheslin Kobe, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Kwagga Smith, and Franco Mostert in Japan.

The Japanese league is quickly becoming a very attractive opportunity for top players, with the clubs offering lucrative contracts, rivalling those offered in France without the congested fixture list.

Since moving to Leicester, Wiese has effectively played non-stop without a proper off-season due to the schedule he had with the Premiership club and the Springboks.

The switch to Japan will lessen his workload with the Japanese club schedule featuring 16 rounds of league action before the semi-finals and finals.

The 28-year-old has been a revelation at Leicester since joining the club from the Cheetahs in 2020, earning his first Test call-up and subsequent debut after a breakout start to life at Welford Road.

He came off the bench for the Springboks in their June Test against Georgia in 2021 and would start the latter two Tests against the British and Irish Lions, helping South Africa to a 2-1 series victory.

Wiese would go on to inspire Leicester to an elusive 11th Premiership title in 2022, producing a man-of-the-match performance in the final against Saracens.

He has been a mainstay in the Bok set-up since and was selected in their squad for the 2023 Rugby World Cup, coming off the bench in their victory over the All Blacks in the final.

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