The Bulls have announced that they have re-signed Springbok back-row Arno Botha, who will return to them after a three-year stint in Europe.
The 29-year-old, who currently plies his trade in Ireland with Munster, is set to join the Bulls from July 2020, if travel restrictions allow.
Botha, who captained the Junior Springboks in 2011 which saw him being awarded the SA Rugby U20 Player of the Year, made his first class debut in the colours of the Blue Bulls junior teams before making his Currie Cup debut in 2011.
His performances in South Africa’s premier domestic competition saw him earning a call up to the Bulls where he produced glimpses of his potential.
His rise within South African rugby continued as he made his Springbok debut in 2013 before a serious knee injury curtailed his international career. He also represented South Africa A against the English Saxons in 2016.
A short stint with London Irish in 2017 set up his move to Munster in 2018 where he represented the Irish province with his explosive style of play allowing him to become a regular fixture in their starting team.
Botha has proven himself to be a formidable opponent and worth his weight in gold on the field and his return to Loftus Versfeld will boost the loose forward stock.
🗣️ "I am truly looking forward to running out at Loftus."
— Planet Rugby (@PlanetRugby) May 13, 2020
Munster Rugby head coach Johann van Graan said: “Arno has been a great addition to the Munster squad and will be missed. I’ve no doubt the #BullsFamily are delighted to see him return to his home province as he is a quality signing. We wish Arno all the best for the future and thank him for his time in red.”
Bulls director of rugby Jake White is excited to have Botha back home.
“Arno is a proud son of Loftus, and there is no doubt that the fans will be ecstatic to see him back,” he said. “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.”
Botha is looking forward to his return to the Pretoria-based outfit.
“As one door closes another one opens, and with this in mind I just want to thank the Vodacom Bulls for the opportunity to be part of the #BullsFamily again, especially in this time,” he said.
“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.”