Wiese determined to enjoy Tigers farewell

Leicester Tigers' Jasper Wiese makes a break against Sale in the Premiership
Jasper Wiese was named players' player of the season at the Leicester Tigers awards night on Tuesday [Getty Images]

World Cup winner Jasper Wiese says he is "sad" to be leaving Leicester Tigers but is determined to sign off with a smile this weekend.

The 28-year-old back rower has made 78 appearances in his four seasons at Mattioli Woods Welford Road and will feature for the final time in the season-ending home game against Exeter Chiefs on Saturday.

Wiese - who was man of the match in the Premiership final as Tigers beat Saracens in 2022 - has had a protracted farewell, having announced in December that he would be leaving the 11-time Premiership winners. Although it is still not known where the South African will play next season.

"It's sad that it's coming to an end, but I've loved every minutes of it," Wiese told BBC Radio Leicester.

Wiese's final campaign at Tigers started after helping South Africa defend their World Cup crown in France.

He misses out on a glorious ending with Leicester, with Tigers eighth in the table and 12 points adrift of the play-off spots after a difficult first campaign under Australian head coach Dan McKellar.

Asked what he wants from his final match in a Tigers shirt, Wiese said: "A win."

But Wiese, who was named newcomer of the year in his first campaign and was voted players' player of the season for the 2023-24 campaign on Tuesday, wants to do more than just savour one last victory.

"It has been a tough year for this group, with a few results not going our way," he said.

"For me, personally, it's just for the group to enjoy it as much as they can and to not even worry about the result.

"There are a few guys leaving, so really enjoying the last few days we have together, the last game we have together, is the biggest thing."

'Tigers will go to a special place'

Despite Tigers' lowly finish in the Premiership table, their second-round exit in the European Champions Cup and a Premiership Cup final loss, Wiese feels Tigers remain in a strong position to again challenge for silverware from next season.

The values engrained in Tigers players guarantees it, he said.

"I think the future is good," Wiese added.

"Leicester has always been a special place, and I don’t think it’s the club but the people who are at the club - they have the right people here.

"Everyone knows that if you are a Leicester boy you want to be known as an honest, hard-working guy. The guys have to drive that as much as they can.

"Obviously, it has been a gritty start now, but I think the club will go to a special place."