Arno Botha leaves Munster to rejoin Bulls

Arno Botha leaves Munster to rejoin Bulls

Munster back-row Arno Botha is returning to South Africa to rejoin the Bulls.

The province's top try-scorer this season, Botha's two years with Munster are up with the expiration of his contract in June.

A twice-capped Springbok international, Botha scored eight tries in 43 Munster appearances. His hat-trick against the Isuzu Southern Kings brought his tally to six for this season and saw him named in the Guinness PRO14’s top 10 players for 2019/20, according to Opta's stats.

"It's impossible to say how much the last 2 years have meant to me in a few photos," wrote Botha on Instagram.

"I can say that it has been an absolute pleasure playing for one of the best clubs in the world & working with the best people.

"Playing in front of such incredible support was an honour & I'm very proud to have worn the Munster jersey. Thanks for everything #SUAF."

Munster's stock of back-row options includes Peter O'Mahony, CJ Stander, Jack O'Donoghue, and Tommy O'Donnell, as well as academy prospects Jack O'Sullivan and John Hodnett.

"As one door closes another one opens," he told the Bulls website ahead of his planned link-up with the Pretoria-based side in July, if travel restrictions allow.

"Arno has been a great addition to the Munster squad and will be missed," said Munster head coach Johann van Graan of the explosive ball-carrier.

"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."

The 28-year-old played for the Bulls through his entire time in South Africa, before joining London Irish in 2018. Six months later he signed for Munster on a one-year deal, which was later extended to 2020.

He joins World Cup-winning head coach Jake White at the Bulls.

"Arno is a proud son of Loftus, and there is no doubt that the fans will be ecstatic to see him back," said White.

"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 loose."

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