South Africa centre Jean de Villiers will join up with the Munster squad on Thursday after being cleared by the Western Province and the South African Rugby Union to take up his new contract in Ireland.
The acquisition of the World Cup winner, who helped South Africa to a 32-29 victory over New Zealand and the Tri-Nations title at the weekend, will bolster Munster’s campaigns in the Heineken Cup and Magners League this season.
Munster coach Tony McGahan told the Irish Times: “Jean de Villiers is recognised as one of the top mid-field rugby players in world rugby and I’m looking forward to having him in our squad.
“He brings a wealth of experience and a skill level that will benefit Munster on and off the field.”
Western province boss Rob Wagner was disappointed to see the centre leave and admitted his side’s loss would be Munster’s gain.
“We are obviously sad to be losing Jean,” said Wagner. “As a captain and a player he has contributed significantly both on and off the pitch.”
“Whilst we did everything in our power to retain his services, Jean has made up his mind to join the great Irish club Munster.
“Western Province Rugby is sorry he is departing, but we thank him for all that he has done for and meant to Western Province and the Stormers and hope to see him back in the future. We wish him all of the very best with Munster.”