Leicester Tigers may already with have a replacement for Jordan Taufua, with Marco van Staden and the club very close to agreeing on a deal.
Earlier this week Taufua signed for Lyon as a medical joker to replace Mathieu Bastareaud. The former Crusaders forward was one of a number of Tigers players who initially refused to sign a new reduced salary contract in 2020.
Despite eventually signing an agreement, just six months later and both he and Leicester Tigers have gone their separate ways. But Leicester may have found a like for like replacement for the Samoan wrecking ball.
The Rugby Paper and The Daily Mail linked the Bulls back row to Welford Road last weekend and RugbyPass now understands that both parties are very close to finalising a deal.
Van Staden had been on the fringes of the Springboks squad and was last called up to the training squad as an injury replacement for Siya Kolisi back in 2019. The 6’1, 106kg flanker is known as a hard carrying, hard-hitting back row, who is as powerful over the ball as he is with ball in hand.
The 25-year-old has represented the Springboks on three occasions and has also played for the Barbarians, featuring for the famous invitational club against Fiji and Wales at the tail end of 2019.
A native of Krugersdorp in South Africa, should he leave he will be a major loss for Jake White’s Bulls. He is a fan favorite at Loftus Versfeld, where his brutal carries and turn of pace have won over fans.
With interest from Bayonne and Bordeaux, as well as the Tigers, hanging onto the back row appears to be a tall order for the Pretorian franchise.
Should Van Staden join Leicester Tigers, he will join an increasing number of South Africans at the club. Cyle Brink, Hanro Liebenberg and Jasper Wiese can already be found in their back row, with prop Luan de Bruin and winger Kobus van Wyk also calling Welford Road home.
It would be a timely signings boost for Tigers, who also lost the services of Tomas Lavanini this week. The big Puma will move to Clermont at the end of the season. Counter-balancing that loss was the signing of Julian Montoya earlier this month.
Sign up to our mailing list for a weekly digest from the wide world of rugby.Sign Up Now