Province yesterday confirmed the signature of Baby Bok lock Ruan Botha from the Lions, in a move that has been rumoured for some time now.
It’s the fourth blow to the once-proud Joburg union in just over a week, with other young players in Caylib Oosthuizen (Cheetahs) and Paul Willemse (Bulls), along with veteran prop Jacobie Adriaanse (Wales) all confirming their departure ahead of next year’s exclusion from Super Rugby.
The 2.03m Botha was a stand-out for Dawie Theron’s SA Under 20 side as they won the IRB Junior World Championship this year and despite still being eligible to play for Province at under 21 level in 2013, has already been capped at Super Rugby level by the Lions. Particularly galling for Lions fans will be the loss of both of their top-rated young locks; Willemse and Botha had the look of a well-balanced combo that could go on to form a great partnership at provincial, and perhaps even national, level in years to come.
Let’s hope, though, that neither disappears into obscurity behind the vast pools of second row talent already available to the Bulls and (especially) WP.Tweet