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Connacht sign Irish qualifed NZ born No.8 from Leicester Tigers

By Ian Cameron
Connacht sign Irish qualifed NZ born No.8 from Leicester Tigers

Connacht has announced the signing of Sean Jansen from the Leicester Tigers. The 23-year-old Irish-qualified No.8 hails from Dunedin, New Zealand, and has signed a two-year deal with the Irish rugby club.

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Jansen joined the reigning Gallagher Premiership champions in January 2022 from the Otago Rugby Football Union.

During his time at Leicester, the 23-year-old played 15 matches and scored five tries. He can play across the back row, but his primary position is number 8. Jansen has also made three appearances in this season’s Heineken Champions Cup.

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Jansen attended Otago Boys High in New Zealand and played junior rugby with North Island RFC, representing North Otago. In 2021, he was named Otago’s Development Forward of the Year before joining the Leicester Tigers.

The 6’3, 117kg forwaerd qualifies for Ireland through his grandparents, who were born in Monasterevin and Belfast. Connacht Rugby expressed their delight at signing the young, powerful ball-carrier, and look forward to seeing him in action for the club.

“Joining Connacht is a very exciting opportunity for me,” said Jansen says. “The prospect of playing in the URC and in front of such a passionate fanbase is one that really appeals to me. I’ve heard nothing but good things about the people there, so I can’t wait to make the move over in the summer and do my bit to help the club succeed in the years ahead.”

Head Coach Pete Wilkins says: “We had been tracking Sean’s career in provincial rugby in New Zealand, and the growth we have seen in his game since joining Leicester Tigers made it clear to us how much value he could add to our back row. He brings enormous physicality in every game he plays. He carries and tackles hard, and his physical profile gives us something a bit different in that position. I’m delighted that he has chosen to join us and we look forward to him making a big impact next season.”

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