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Jimmy Gopperth to swap Wasps for Leicester Tigers

By Ian Cameron
(Photo by PA)

Trending on RugbyPass

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Wasps’ veteran utility back Jimmy Gopperth is set to swap Coventry Building Society Arena for Mattioli Woods Welford Road and the Leicester Tigers.

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Gopperth had been linked with Tigers in recent weeks and RugbyPass understands that the contract has now been signed – with the 38-year-old penning a two-year deal.

It will be the end of an era in Coventry for New Zealander, who has been a central figure for the Gallager Premiership side since signing from Leinster in 2015. Born in New Plymouth, he has scored 1142 points in 141 appearances for the club, scoring 23 tries to date.

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Gopperth will join Rugby World Cup winner Handre Pollard at the Steve Borthwick coached outfit. Borthwick has recruited heavily in the wake of shock news that England flyhalf George Ford is leaving for Sale Sharks at the end of the current season.

It will give Leicester an abundance of playmaking options next season.

Gopperth is the latest in a number of high profile departures from Wasps, with Vaea Fifita exiting his contract early to sign for URC side Scarlets, while Malakai Fekitoa is heavily linked with a move to Munster. The former All Black centre is said to be replacing Damian De Allende, who is leaving Limerick for either Bath or a Japanese club, or a combination of both.

Blackett seemed to pour water on the rumoured departure earlier this month, suggesting that agents were behind the rumours. “We’re very aware of where these rumours come from, we won’t be commenting on any of it,” Blackett told Coventry Live.

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Gopperth, who turns 39 in June, played Super Rugby at both the Hurricanes and the Blues while also representing the Junior All Blacks before making the switch to the Northern Hemisphere in 2009. He spent four years at Newcastle Falcons, before two seasons in Ireland with Leinster Rugby ahead of the switch to Coventry.

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