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Rugby | Pro14

Francois Venter © Gallo Images

Botha signs for Ospreys

Toyota Cheetahs prop Tom Botha has confirmed his move to the Ospreys as from the end of this Pro14 season.

Botha becomes the fourth high-profile Cheetahs player to leave the team for a Northern Hemisphere team after Francois Venter signed with Worcester, and Clayton Blommetjies and Uzair Cassiem both concluded contracts with the Scarlets.

Botha will join Namibian international Lesley Klim as the new recruits for the Ospreys next season.

The 27-year old prop was ironically at the heart of the Cheetahs' last-gasp win over the Cardiff Blues on Saturday night and is well-travelled, having played in France as well as for the Kings and Stormers.

“I’m really excited to join the Ospreys. I enjoy the Pro14 more than Super Rugby as it’s based more on scrums, forwards mauling, stuff like that. I love all the forward-related stuff, that’s the strong point of my game,” Botha said in a team statement.

“I’ve actually spoken to a few of the South Africans who have played for the Ospreys, before I decided to sign, and they all said only good things. I can’t wait.”

The 110kg, 1.79m tall prop played his junior rugby for Western Province before spending two years in France with Montpellier. He made his Super Rugby debut in 2016, playing 15 times for the Southern Kings before moving to the Cheetahs, where he made 10 Super Rugby appearances.

In Pro14, he has played 16 of the 19 games for the Cheetahs.

Dan Griffiths, Rugby General Manager at the Ospreys, welcomed the signing of Botha, saying: “Tom is somebody that we are excited about seeing in an Ospreys shirt. He has a wealth of experience playing and scrummaging against opposition from just about every major rugby nation. Working alongside Allen Clarke in an Ospreys environment he has the potential to be a great asset to the club.

“He is an aggressive scrummager who likes to attack the opposition and has acquitted himself very well with the Cheetahs since his arrival in the Pro14. He is a player that thrives on the challenge that comes with the setpiece in the Northern Hemisphere."

“There was considerable interest in his services so we are pleased that Tom has agreed to come to the Ospreys this summer and that he believes it is the right place for him.”


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