Leicester Tigers have snapped up a recent World Cup winner, adding Aled Walters to Geordan Murphy’s staff as their new head of physical performance. The Welshman carved out a niche for himself at Munster where he initially encountered Rassie Erasmus, who then brought the assistant with him to South Africa to play a major role in formulating the plan than led the Springboks to RWC victory last November in Japan.

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South Africa Rugby announced on Tuesday that Walters would be leaving for family reasons and his destination has now been revealed, Leicester emerging as his new place of work in a career that included stints at Scarlets, Taranaki and the Brumbies before he went to Ireland in 2012. Speaking to the Leicester Tigers website following his appointment, Walters said: “I grew up a staunch Scarlets fan and have a lot of history with Leicester. I was there when the famous Tim Stimpson penalty went over.

“You have to fit the culture and I definitely appreciate that. That’s why teams like Leicester are more attractive to me. Leicester is a very similar club to Munster and Scarlets – it’s a working-class area, they’re tougher people and that’s something that definitely appealed to me… I don’t take leaving a World Cup team lightly. It’s a very similar challenge to a couple of years ago when I was approached to join the South African team who were playing below par.

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“I see this as a similar scenario, and what I know first-hand is that things can change, but it takes a lot of hard work and only happens if everyone buys into it. The challenge wouldn’t be as attractive if I didn’t believe there were things in place to turn things around and get the job done… it’s an attractive proposition to work with world-class athletes and there is plenty at Leicester.”

Murphy, who is set to become director of rugby when Steve Borthwick arrives as head coach, added: “The addition of someone of Aled’s experience and knowledge is a significant signing for Leicester. Aled’s addition alongside Steve is key to what we are doing. It’s a game-changer for us at Tigers.”

 

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