Munster Rugby star leaves club and returns to South Africa

Limerick Leader Reporter

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Munster Rugby star leaves club and returns to South Africa

Munster Rugby have today confirmed that Arno Botha will depart for South Africa’s Blue Bulls next month after spending two years at the province. The back-row forward, signed from London Irish, scored eight tries in 43 appearances and is Munster’s top try-scorer this campaign.

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 Vodacom 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 Vodacom 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.

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.”

Jake White, Director of Rugby at the Blue Bulls Company 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 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, “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. 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.”

Botha, who played flanker and number eight, played his entire professional career with the Blue Bulls before moving to London in January 2018.

He joined Munster ahead of the 2018/19 season and spent two successful years here, featuring in 43 of Munster’s 50 games in that time.

He was named in the Guinness PRO14’s top 10 players for this season, with the list compiled by Opta.