Leicester Tigers confirm signing of South African Wessel Jooste
Leicester Tigers have confirmed the signing of South African back-row forward Wessel Jooste.
As reported in yesterday's Leicester Mercury, the 29-year-old has finally been granted a work permit after encountering some problems with his first application.
With that bridge successfully crossed, Jooste has completed a deal to join up with Richard Cockerill's side and he made his first appearance in the high-scoring A League defeat at Gloucester on Monday night.
"Jooste has signed a contract and he has his visa and is free to play," said Cockerill. "He has played right across the back row and in the second row too.
"He has been at Bourgoin for eight years and has captained their side.
"He is a big man who carries the ball well. Once he has been training with us for a while, he will be a good complement to the guys that we have got."
Jooste began his career at the Johannesburg-based Golden Lions in his home country and has spent the last eight years plying his trade for Bourgoin, mainly in France's Top 14.
He becomes the club's fourth back-row signing of the season with Brett Deacon, Richard Thorpe and Michael Noone already here.
Asked whether Jooste, or players like Dan Bowden and George Ford could feature among any possible changes for Saturday's game with Exeter, Cockerill was keeping his cards close to his chest.
"I will pick the side that I think will win us the game," he said. "Whether that is for performance sake or rotating the squad for this game, we will see.
"The side that was picked last week was good enough to win.
"Selection was not an issue but performance was – and we need to rectify that. Some people made some poor decisions.
"That is costly, whether that is giving away penalties or not executing with ball in hand, and that part of our game has to be better.
"We are not a club that makes excuses and says 'It will be all right next week'. I don't believe in that.
"The players are making all of the right noises this week, they now need to go out there against Exeter and do it."
The Chiefs will arrive at Welford off the back of a narrow 14-12 home win over Saracens at Sandy Park.