Jake White excited at return of ‘proud son of Loftus’ to the Bulls

15 May 2020 - 12:40 By MAHLATSE MAHLASE
Former Springboks Rugby World Cup winning coach Jake White (L) is tipped for the Australia job.
Former Springboks Rugby World Cup winning coach Jake White (L) is tipped for the Australia job.
Image: Ziyaad Douglas

The rebuilding process at the Bulls continued unabated on Friday morning when they confirmed the return of experienced ball-carrier Arno Botha to Loftus.

The 29-year-old loose forward will join the team in July 2020 if travel restrictions due to the coronavirus outbreak allow after a three-year spell in Europe‚ and Bulls director of rugby Jake White is excited.

“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 said he is looking forward to his return.

“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. It is awesome to be heading home.”

Botha captained the Junior Springboks in 2011 and he was awarded the SA Rugby Under-20 Player of the Year and he made his first class debut in the colours of the Blue Bulls junior teams before making his Currie Cup debut in 2011.

As a result of impressive performances in South Africa’s premier domestic competition‚ he earned a call-up to the Bulls where he produced glimpses of his devastating 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 lined up his move to Munster in 2018 where he represented the Irish province with his explosive‚ barnstorming runs allowing him to become a regular fixture in the 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.

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 Bulls family 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.”

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