Botha’s Ulster deal falls through

Ulster have decided not to sign injury-plagued Bulls loose forward Arno Botha.

The Irish province announced in January that Botha would be joining them after Super Rugby on a two-year deal.

Botha sustained a knee injury in New Zealand last month, and is set to return to action for the Blue Bulls in the Provincial Rugby Challenge this weekend.

Ulster obtained an independent medical opinion, which said Botha should give the knee a proper rest. The club then decided to cancel the contract that includes a clause that the player must be medically fit.

'It's unfortunate for both Arno and Ulster Rugby that we've had to come to this decision as we were looking forward to welcoming him to Kingspan Stadium,' said operations director Bryn Cunningham. 'However, we have acted with the best interests of team performance in mind.'

Botha's career has been plagued by injury. He tore knee ligaments during his second (and last) Test appearance in 2013 that ruled him out for the rest of the season, and injured the same knee at the start of 2014.

In 2015, he suffered a pectoral muscle injury, and at the end of last season he dislocated a shoulder that required surgery.

Botha then sustained a knee injury during the Bulls' match against the Chiefs in April this year.

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Photo: Johan Rynners/Gallo Images

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