"Total rebuild" - Leicester confirm new signings, including Anthony Watson replacement - Ruck

“Total rebuild” – Leicester confirm new signings, including Anthony Watson replacement

Leicester Tigers have confirmed six new signings ahead of the 2023/24 Gallagher Premiership season.

#1. Solomone Kata from Exeter Chiefs

Leicester has secured the signing of Kata, who will be departing Exeter after just one season once his contract expires next month.

Kata, a 28-year-old Tongan international capable of playing as a center or wing, joined Exeter as Rob Baxter’s fifth signing last season.

During his time with the Chiefs, he made 20 appearances and scored five tries, one of which came during his debut against the Tigers in September.

According to The Rugby Paper, Kata will be the 14th player leaving the Chiefs this summer and will become the sixth new addition to the Leicester squad.

Born in Neiafu, Tonga, Kata relocated to New Zealand in 2011 to pursue a rugby scholarship at Sacred Heart College in Auckland. His exceptional abilities quickly caught the attention of rugby league teams, leading him to play for the New Zealand Warriors and later the Melbourne Storm, before transitioning to the 15-man code.

Kata’s journey then took him to Canberra in Australia, where he spent two seasons with the Brumbies, forming a partnership with former Chief Nic White. In 2022, he joined Moana Pasifika for the Super Rugby competition.

Exeter Chiefs player Solomone Kata before the Gallagher Premiership rugby game between Leicester Tigers and Exeter Chiefs at Mattioli Woods Welford Road on April 16th- PHOTO: Steve Bond/PPAUK

#2. Josh Bassett from Harelquins

The 30-year-old will join Tigers from Harlequins, who he joined midway through the current campaign from Wasps.

Bassett played his junior rugby for Ampthill before moving to Bedford Blues ahead of the 2011/12 campaign. The outside-back was selected for England Under-20s in 2012.

In 2013, he joined Wasps and made more than a century of appearances for the club before joining Harlequins in 2022.

Bassett said:

“I want to continue developing, individually, and reach my potential. I see Leicester Tigers as the place to do that.

Mattioli Woods Welford Road is a special place. You know it is going to be loud, the atmosphere is going to be electric and so the opportunity to be on the right side of that was a hard one to turn down.

“There are some amazing players at the club, who have done so well in recent years and are going to continue pushing on. Knowing I will be a part of that gives me energy and makes me excited.”

Wigglesworth said:

“We are really looking forward to welcoming Josh to Leicester Tigers next season.”

“He is a prolific try-scorer, hard-working player who offers plenty in defence out wide. He adds great competition to our outside-backs.

“Josh is a highly respected player and experienced in the game, which will be of great value to our young group.”