The Vodacom Bulls have confirmed the signing of former Springbok loose forward Arno Botha from Munster.
The 28-year-old Botha has been plying his trade at the Irish club since 2018, having joined English side London Irish.
Rumours have been circulating that Botha is on his way back to South Africa to play for the Bulls this year and on Thursday the union shared a cryptic teaser about a mysterious signing.
On Friday, the Bulls finally moved to confirm that Botha will indeed be re-joining them.
— Official Blue Bulls (@BlueBullsRugby) May 15, 2020
Before his two-and-a-half-year spell abroad, Botha played for the Bulls between 2010 and 2017. The loose forward also won two Test caps for the Springboks between 2012 and 2013.
Botha will link up with another former Springbok, Gio Aplon, who also joined the Bulls following a six-year stint in abroad.
Commenting on his return to Loftus, Botha said: ‘As one door closes another one opens, and with this in mind I just want to thank the Bulls for the opportunity to be part of the Bulls family again, especially in this time. The Bulls have always and will always be a special part of my life and I’m looking forward to being back at Loftus. Is awesome to be heading home.’
White welcomed Botha’s return.
‘Arno is a proud son of Loftus, and there is no doubt that the fans will be ecstatic to see him back. He started his rugby journey here and played all of his junior rugby in blue. There were big things expected from him from a young age, and he has now grown into a complete and well balanced loosie. It’s no secret that we are in the process of building something very special at Loftus, and Arno is going to be a huge part of that.’
Meanwhile, the Bulls are rumoured to be leading the race to sign Springbok duo Marcell Coetzee and Jason Jenkins. Coetzee is currently playing for Irish side Ulster, while Jenkins is contracted to Japanese club Toyota Verblitz.
The union is also looking to capture the signatures of Cheetahs locks Sintu Manjezi and Walt Steenkamp. The 25-year-old Manjezi, who can also fill in at flank, joined the Cheetahs from Griquas in 2018, while the 24-year-old Steenkamp joined from the Leopards in the same year.
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