Springbok behemoth Jasper Wiese's return to South Africa is imminent

Springbok behemoth Jasper Wiese's return to South Africa is imminent

In a recent interview, World Cup winner Jasper Wiese all but confirmed his return to South Africa.

The rampaging No.8 joined the Leicester Tigers in 2020 and quickly made a name for himself with his powerful carrying. Two years later, he helped the Tigers to a Premiership Rugby title, where he was named Man of the Match in the final against rivals Saracens. 

Then just last year, Wiese was voted as the Rugby Players Association Players' Player of the Year for another outstanding season at the back of the scrum.

So it's safe to say Wiese has thoroughly enjoyed his time in Leicester, making it all the more tough to leave. Speaking on the Leicester Tigers' Rugby Show, the Upington native confirmed as much.

"It's difficult leaving a club like this," said the 28-year-old, who confirmed his departure late last year.

"It's special¦ it's where my career took off and I will be forever grateful for it. Even the fans, the people that come out to watch us, it's just special. You run out and everybody is just behind you. I hope a lot of people get to experience it."

Wiese's exploits earned him a call-up to the Springboks in 2021, where he earned himself a Rugby World Cup winner's medal in 2023.

There has been much speculation around where he will ply his trade, including a big-money move to Japan. However, all signs point to Wiese donning a jersey for one of the local franchises. 

"I am thinking of my family, I have just had a kid and my father doesn't travel," explained the former Cheetahs star.

"I don't want to raise my child without their grandparents. Otherwise, I would have probably stayed because I genuinely love Leicester and the boys here.

"I feel in my heart it was the right decision and there's still a long way to go this season, this is not a cop out. Hopefully, I can leave something special behind with the guys I have been playing with for the last three years and the friends I've made over here."

The Tigers are currently sitting outside the Premiership Rugby Playoff places, but with six rounds still to play and a Champions Cup Round of 16 tie against the indomitable Leinster, there is still plenty of opportunity for Wiese to make an impact.

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