Jasper Wiese has been given a ringing endorsement to cover for Duane Vermeulen should the Springbok veteran not recover in time for the British & Irish Lions series.
Wiese is set to link up with the Springbok squad in Bloemfontein when the Premiership season ends next weekend.
The 25-year-old was snapped up by the Leicester Tigers after it was confirmed that the Cheetahs would no longer be taking part in the PRO14.
While he arrived in England as a relative unknown, his first season in the Premiership has proven successful and he forced his way into the 46-man Springbok squad for the upcoming Lions series.
Wiese now stands a chance of making his Springbok debut in the series, after veteran Duane Vermeulen had to undergo surgery on an ankle injury he suffered over the past weekend.
In his 14 appearances for Leicester this season, Wiese has made a total of 177 carries for 705 metres, averaging 3.98m per carry. He has also beaten a total of 54 defenders and made eight clean breaks, illustrating his destructiveness with ball in hand.
Speaking to RugbyPass, Leicester head coach Steve Borthwick gave further insight into Wiese.
‘Generally he is a quiet, reserved character,’ Borthwick said. ‘On the field, he leads by actions. He rarely speaks but when he does his words have a significant effect on those around him.
‘He wants to learn all the time, wants to get better, he’s brilliant. It has been a privilege to coach him over this last period of time.
‘They will know him very well. They have been tracking him. He is a real passionate, driven rugby player. [He is] a fierce competitor and still a young man. He is young in his professional rugby career. He is desperate to take on every bit of learning to improve.
‘There are plenty of [standout] moments. He is a player who the other players love playing with.
‘If your teammates want to go on the field with you, then it says a lot about your character and what you bring to them.’
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