Lions Sign EW Viljoen


EW Viljoen is returning home to South Africa and will settle in Johannesburg with the Emirates Lions after a stint with the Leicester Tigers since 2019. The experienced outside centre grew up in Bloemfontein where his rugby career started. From there he moved to Western Province in 2014 where he made 28 appearances for the Stormers since his debut in 2017.

Viljoen was noticed at the primary school level when he was selected in the Free State squad for the Under-13 Craven Week tournament in 2008. He then went to Grey College in Bloemfontein, where he was called up to a number of youth tournaments. He played at the Under-16 Grant Khomo Week in 2011, where he scored 18 points in two matches against Western Province and the Falcons.

In 2012, he was included in the Free State's Under-18 Craven Week squad, scoring a try against KwaZulu-Nata and he played in the competition again in 2013, this time contributing a brace in their match against the Pumas. This led to Viljoen's inclusion in the South African Schools side for the 2013 international series, where he started two matches to help the South African side to victories over England and France.

At the end of 2013, he moved to Cape Town to join Western Province. He was one of the Western Province Rugby Institute players that were invited to form part of the Stormers wider training group prior to the 2014 Super Rugby season. A knee injury ruled him out for part of the season, but he returned to action for the Western Province U21 side during the 2014 Under-21 Provincial Championship, scoring five tries in five appearances, including a brace against the Leopards U21.

He also represented South Africa at Under 20 level at the Junior World Championship in which he played a starring role on the way to South Africa’s third-place finish in the tournament.

He is a versatile back that can do duty at fullback and wing as well.