Ospreys Rugby has announced the signing of Cheetahs tighthead Tom Botha from the start of next season.
He is the fourth new face confirmed ahead of the 2018/19 campaign and joins Wales stars Aled Davies and Scott Williams and Namibian international Lesley Klim in committing to the region.
The 27-year old from Stellenbosch will bring with him vast experience across not only the PRO14 but also Super Rugby, as well as the domestic game in South Africa in the Vodacom and Currie Cups, and also from a two-year spell in France as a youngster.
Speaking after confirming his move to the Liberty Stadium, Botha said:
“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.
“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.”
Renowned in his homeland as a destructive scrummager, Botha stands 1.79m tall and weighs in at 110kg. Having come through at Western Province as a youngster, Botha spent two years in France with Montpellier where he won a French ‘espoir’ U23 title, before returning to South Africa with Eastern Province Kings.
In 2016 he made his Super Rugby debut, playing 15 times for Southern Kings that season, before signing a two-year deal with Bloemfontein based Cheetahs. Last year he made 10 Super Rugby appearances before the Cheetahs switched to the PRO14 and he has played in 16 of their 19 games in the competition this season including their 44-25 defeat of the Ospreys at the Free State Stadium in September.
Olly Cracknell, Ma’afu Fia, Sam Parry and highly rated youngsters Will Jones and Reuben Morgan-Williams are the others to have signed new contracts.