ZIMBABWE — BORN Leicester Tigers lock Eli Snyman will leave the English Premiership club to return to Italian side Benetton next season.
The 27-year-old joined Tigers in 2021 after a spell in Treviso with the United Rugby Championship club.
Snyman has featured 34 times for Leicester, with 14 appearances coming this season.
Speaking about Snyman, Leicester Tigers interim head coach Richard Wigglesworth said: "Eli has been a big part of the Leicester pack during these past two seasons, playing a key role both on the pitch and as a leader for the young players in his position.
"I enjoyed the opportunity to play alongside Eli last season and for the first part of this season.
"He's been a great contributor to Leicester Tigers and we thank him for that as well as wishing him all the best for the next stage of his career back in Italy with Benetton."
Born in Zimbabwe, the second-rower represented his homeland at age-grade levels.
He was vice-captain of the Zimbabwe Under-18 squad which took part at the 2014 edition of the annual Coca-Cola Craven Week tournament held in Middelburg, South Africa.
His performances during the weeklong annual event attracted the attention of the Bulls franchise, who awarded him a scholarship to study and play rugby at the University of Pretoria.
Snyman was named vice-captain of the Pretoria-based franchise’s Under-19 side in his debut season before being named the 2015 Blue Bulls Under-19 Forward of the Year at the club’s end of year awards at Loftus in Pretoria.
He attended the University of Pretoria and represented UP Tuks in South Africa’s Varsity Cup competition.
In 2016, Snyman was selected to represent the Springboks Under-20s and made his Currie Cup debut for the Bulls in the same season.
Snyman made his Super Rugby debut during the 2019 season for The Bulls before signing with Treviso ahead of the 2019/20 European season.