South African back row Cyle Brink will join Leicester Tigers next month after the Lions agreed to release him from his contract with immediate effect.

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The powerful 26-year-old is currently working his way back to fitness following a ruptured Achilles tendon and is not expected to be available until next season.

However, having successfully cut short the final eight months of his Lions deal, Brink is free to link up with Geordan Murphy’s Tigers in April.

An under-20 international, he was part of the Handre Pollard-led South African side that made the final of the 2014 Junior World Championship where they lost to England by a point. 

Other members of that squad included Springboks Jessie Kriel, Andre Esterhuizen, and in-form Edinburgh duo Pierre Schoeman and Duhan van der Merwe.

Brink made his Super Rugby bow two years later and was set to make his full international debut after being called into the Boks squad in 2018, but suffered a nerve problem in his back and neck, and subsequently spent time on the sidelines with a knee injury.

Tigers’ rivals Northampton Saints had made an offer to bring him to Franklin’s Gardens last season, but a deal could not be done. 

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Several other teams, including Glasgow Warriors, showed an interest in acquiring the destructive flanker, but Leicester and Murphy have won the race for his signature.

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