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Dublin: 5 °C Wednesday 19 February, 2020

Ulster's move for Springbok Botha is off after failed medical

The South African back-row had been due to sign a two-year deal with the province.

Botha in action for the Blue Bulls.
Botha in action for the Blue Bulls.
Image: INPHO/Photosport/Anton de Villiers.

ULSTER HAVE PULLED the plug on their deal to sign South Africa-capped loose forward Arno Botha.

The province announced back in January that the 25-year-old would be joining from the Blue Bulls on a two-year contract at the end of the Super Rugby season.

However, injury-plagued Botha has been out of action the past month with a knee problem and Ulster released a statement this morning revealing that the offer has been withdrawn after a “detailed medical assessment on the player”.

“It’s unfortunate for both Arno and Ulster Rugby that we’ve had to come to this decision as we were looking forward to welcoming him to Kingspan Stadium,” said Ulster Operations Director Bryn Cunningham. ”However, we have acted with the best interests of team performance in mind.

“We have meticulous processes in place for all player recruitment and having commissioned an independent medical assessment in South Africa, it was recommended that the risk had increased following his most recent injury. This view was shared by our own medical team.

Everyone associated with Ulster Rugby sincerely hopes that Arno will go on to have a long and successful career.

“Once this decision was reached, we compiled an extensive list of potential targets and we will announce a signing to bolster the forward pack in due course.”

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Ben Blake

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