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Fiji international Murimurivalu and Hurricanes back Van Wyk among four new signings at Leicester

By Online Editors
(Photo by Getty Images)

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Leicester Tigers have announced the signings of Kini Murimurivalu, Kobus Van Wyk, Guy Porter and Luke Wallace. Murimurivalu joins from La Rochelle, Van Wyk is currently playing with the Hurricanes in New Zealand’s Super Rugby Aotearoa, while Porter signs from the ACT Brumbies and Wallace makes the move from Championship side Coventry.


Fiji international Kini Murimurivalu, capable of playing at full-back or on the wing, made made more than 130 appearances in eight seasons at La Rochelle, and will arrive at Tigers in the coming weeks.

He was selected by Fiji Under-20s at the Junior Rugby World Cup in 2009, before being signed by Clermont Auvergne in France in 2009, where he spent the next three seasons.

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The outside-back made his international debut in 2011 against Tonga and has made more than 30 Test appearances for the Flying Fijians, including representing his home nation at three successive Rugby World Cups in 2011, ’15 and ’19.

Speaking about the signing, Leicester Tigers Director of Rugby Geordan Murphy said: “Kini is an exciting addition to our squad and someone I am sure will light up the Premiership while representing Leicester Tigers.

“He is not only entertaining in attack but also a physical, strong defensive player and adds a wealth of experience to our side.

“I was fortunate enough to play alongside some talented Fijians at Tigers, who bring just as much to a club off the pitch as they do on it and Kini will be no different from what we saw in our conversations with him.


“Alongside fellow new recruits in the backline, including his international team-mate Nemani Nadolo, and the class we have with the likes of George Ford and Ben Youngs, it is a new-look, promising group of players to work with, who we believe represent what this club is working hard to be about moving forward on this journey.”

Murimurivalu said: “I feel blessed and happy to sign at Tigers. I have heard a lot about Leicester and its history and know some former players, like Seru Rabeni and Seremaia Bai, and have played with the Fiji team with Nemani.

“I am looking forward to the experience and the different environment in Leicester after more than 10 years in France, and to try new things.”

Van Wyk, 28-year-old, was a member of the South Africa Under-20s squad at the 2012 Junior Rugby World Cup and featured throughout their Cup-winning campaign in front of their home crowd.


In 2014 he joined the Stormers ahead of the Super Rugby season and made more than 30 appearances there during the next two seasons. He also spent five months in France during 2016 as a medical joker for Bordeaux.

He returned to South Africa ahead of the 2017 Super Rugby season to join the Sharks and made another 30 appearances over the next two seasons as well as representing the Durban-based club in the Currie Cup competition.

Earlier this year, he joined the Hurricanes in Wellington, and will link-up with the Tigers squad following the completion of the Hurricanes’ Super Rugby Aotearoa campaign.

Leicester Tigers Director of Rugby Geordan Murphy said: “Kobus is a proven finisher with an impressive resume in the southern hemisphere, who we are excited to have join us at Leicester Tigers.

“He is a big, strong and hard-working player with the qualities we are looking for on the pitch and an impressive man who shares the values we have here at the club and are integral to what we are building in Leicester.

“He is a versatile player who adds depth to our outside-back ranks and will arrive in Leicester after finishing up with the Hurricanes, where he has been impressive throughout the Aotearoa competition.

“Kobus will add a point of difference out wide and brings with him valuable experience, which is important and exciting as we build this new look Tigers squad.”

Van Wyk added: “I am excited for the new challenge.”

“I haven’t played in Europe or the United Kingdom before so I am excited to meet the boys and get stuck in with them and for what is ahead for us in the future.

“I am excited to work hard and get into the games and play my part out wide, finishing when the opportunity comes.”

Van Wyk added that he enjoyed positive conversations with both Murphy and Tigers head coach Steve Borthwick before putting pen to paper.

“They spoke to me about what they are building and that they were keen to have me part of the team going into the future,” he said.

“They want to get Leicester back up, competing again to win trophies and to have the club in contention, which I want to be a part of and contribute with the boys.”

Van Wyk’s signing was announced shortly after the club confirmed the signature of fellow back Porter.

Capable of playing on the wing or at full-back, 23-year-old Porter was born in London before moving to Australia at seven years of age. He was recruited by Sydney University, the club of new Leicester Tigers assistant coach Rob Taylor and fellow outside-back Harry Potter.

Porter spent five seasons with Sydney University, where he was coached by Taylor, before joining the Brumbies earlier this year, before the Super Rugby was suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Porter is the fifth addition to the Tigers backline during the summer period, and will join his new teammates ahead of the resumption of the 2019/20 season.

Meanwhile back-rower Wallace joins the club with immediate effect.

The experienced flanker spent a decade at Harlequins, where he made more than 170 appearances from 2009-19.

Speaking about the addition of Wallace, Leicester Tigers Director of Rugby Georgan Murphy said: “Luke is an experienced Premiership campaigner who understands the hard work required to be consistent at this level.

“He adds a different, unique component to our back row and will challenge our group for positions, to keep it competitive.

“His attitude is brilliant, he wants to be a part of what we are building at Tigers and is a tough, hard-working player who we are looking forward to have here in Leicester.

“Alongside Cyle Brink, we have two quality additions to the back-row ranks here in Leicester.”

Wallace said: “Having competed against Tigers my whole career, I am stoked to the have opportunity to be back in the Premiership and be part a squad desperate to push ourselves back up the table.

“Geordan, Steve and the coaches have made it clear how hard we are going to work at Tigers and the values we are going to stick to. I can’t wait to get involved.”

On Porter, Murphy said he believes the club have signed a player with a very promising future.

“Guy has been making waves in Australian rugby since his schoolboy days and joins us from a successful Sydney University outfit.

“He comes highly recommended by Rob [Taylor] and, of what we have seen of him on the pitch, it is exciting to have a player of his promise join the club.

“Our conversations with Guy have been very impressive and he is an impressive young man who is intent on adding to our club and being a part of what we are building here at Tigers.

“He adds versatile depth to our backline and is a player who builds his game on hard work, which is what we are about here in Leicester.”

Porter said: “I have always wanted to play Premiership Rugby, so to do that at a club like Leicester Tigers is especially exciting.

“Coming to the northern hemisphere, I am looking forward to the physicality and different style of game which I believe I am suited to in efforts areas and that physicality.

“Some formidable players have helped build Leicester Tigers into an impressive club and I am excited to be a part of that.

“It hasn’t quite sunk in, getting the chance to rub shoulders with the likes of George Ford, Ben Youngs and Nemani Nadolo, and have the opportunity to learn from them.”

Porter added that he was quickly sold on the future of Tigers after his first conversation with Murphy and head coach Steve Borthwick.

“He is one of the world’s best coaches and I am excited to join a programme he is running. They were pretty candid about how successful they want Tigers to be and build an aspirational group at the club … they want people who are going to apply themselves and it was an easy sell for me.

“I was impressed with the vision they have and can’t wait to be a part of it.”


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