Sharks sign England lock

England international lock Mouritz Botha has signed a two-year contract with the Sharks.

The 32-year-old lock forward hails from Vryheid in KwaZulu-Natal and currently plays for Saracens in the English Premiership. Botha made his debut for England in 2011 and has since gone on to win 10 caps, including three against the Springboks in 2012.

He has spent the last five seasons at Saracens, playing over 100 matches as well as helping them to the Premiership title in 2011.

'Saracens will always be important to me, and it’s difficult to leave so many friends in what remains a unique sporting environment, but the Sharks are trying to build something special in Durban,' said Botha. 'This will be a great rugby challenge for me, and a great adventure for my young family.'

Sharks CEO John Smit has hailed the signing, noting that Botha will add some much-needed depth to their second row ranks.

'Mouritz is a great acquisition for the Sharks and his experience gained at international level will be hugely beneficial to our squad. He will add significant value and depth to our tight five. We look forward to welcoming him to Durban.'

The English Premiership has agreed on an early release from his contract with Saracens and he will join up with the Sharks from 1 January 2015 ahead of the Super Rugby campaign.

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