Super Rugby

Bulls surprise with Bothma signing

Renaldo Bothma (Gallo Images)
Renaldo Bothma (Gallo Images)

Pretoria - The Bulls have scored a major coup this season as they signed Namibian and Sharks No 8 Renaldo Bothma on a long-term contract.

According to the supersport.com website, Bothma has been released by the Sharks seven months ahead of the end of his contract with the Durban union and will arrive in Pretoria Monday to begin with the Bulls. He is available for the rest of the team's Super Rugby games.

The coup, which is set to be announced this week, is likely to see Bothma form part of the match 23 next weekend against the Cheetahs if he recovers from his injury in time.

The Bulls will have their final practice session on Monday before heading to Singapore on Tuesday for this weekend's upcoming Super Rugby game against the Sunwolves, but Bothma will not form part of the training squad.

The Namibian blonde No 8 is known as a powerful runner, with the Bulls particularly keen to use his skills to get them over the gain line.

Bothma is still recovering from a foot injury sustained in Japan when he was there in the off-season and is expected to be ready pending a medical check-up in a week or so.

The Bulls will be boosted as not only will they get Bothma ready to play when they return to South Africa from Singapore but they are also expecting fellow loose forwards Lappies Labuschagne, Deon Stegmann and prop Dean Greyling also to be cleared for action in a week's time.

Bothma has also played 13 times for the Golden Lions, with one cap for the Leopards before making his name with 54 caps with the Pumas in Nelspruit.

He has played 15 times for the Sharks and played for Japanese club Toyota Verblitz in the off-season. In 2013 he was part of a South African Presidents XV that won the IRB Nations Cup in Tblisi, Georgia and has 10 test caps for Namibia - including last year's Rugby World Cup.