Cheetahs land promising centre from Montpellier

The Cheetahs have secured the services of South African Montpellier centre Lesley Botha on a two-year deal. 

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Botha, was in matric at Grey College in Bloemfontein last year, and also represented to the Free State Cheetahs at the 2019 Craven Week.

According to a Cheetahs' press release, straight after school, Botha joined Montpellier in France and trained with the senior team during his short time.

His team-mate at Montpellier, Marcell Muller, recently also signed a contract at the Cheetahs along with George Cronjé. Cronjé was Botha and Muller's captain at school.

Botha got to train alongside the two-time World Cup-winning Springbok, Frans Steyn, while still at Montpellier. Steyn also recently signed a two-year deal at the Cheetahs.

While Botha will only turn 19 in July, he has dreams of playing for the Cheetahs in the PRO14 and Currie Cup, and his sights are also set on higher honours.

"I don't regret coming back to Bloemfontein because I love the Free State and I grew up here. Having said that, I also don't regret going to France, even though it was only for a short time," said Botha in a Cheetahs' press release.

"There I learnt that you don’t have to rely on someone bigger, better, or richer than you to make yourself the best that you can be.

"If you just believe in yourself and have hope you can fulfil your dreams any place and anywhere. I don’t have to rely on a place, someone or a club fulfil my dreams.

"I believe I can fulfil my dreams in the Free State and I am really excited to carry on with my journey here."

Botha's contract at the Cheetahs starts on 1 November 2020 and will run until 31 October 2022.

- Compiled by Sport24 staff

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