Gary Botha has signed a two-year contract with the Blue Bulls Company (Pty) Ltd and will join up with his former teammates on November, 1.
Botha, 27, has been playing for the Blue Bulls since 2002 and has been an integral part of the team’s success over the last couple of years before he departed at the end of 2007, after the World Cup, to the United Kingdom where he played for London Harlequins in the English Premiership for two years.
The World Cup winner played in 75 matches for Blue Bulls between 2002 and 2006 and represented the Vodacom Bulls from 2004-2007 winning 49 caps after making his Super Rugby debut in 2003 for the Sharks.
Botha, who is a former SA Schools and SA under 21 player, will be playing his last game for Harlequins on Saturday and thereafter he will join up with his family in South Africa.
The coach of the Vodacom Blue Bulls, Frans Ludeke, is delighted with the news that Botha is on his way back to Pretoria and said that apart from his on-field heroics the Bulls also welcomes back an exceptional leader.
“Gary brings a lot of stability to the set pieces and his play in the loose is extraordinary.
“He brings a lot of experience to our tight five and it is always nice to have a guy in your pack that has the respect of his peers.
“Gary is also a great leader and as a team player par excellence I am looking forward to welcome him back at the Bulls.”
Botha said on Thursday from London that he is extremely excited about his new term with the Bulls, but he added that he had a great time in London.
“I have learned a tremendous lot over the last two seasons and would like to plough back what I have picked up.
“The game is different in the northern hemisphere and it was good to experience something of it, but I can’t wait to pull on the Bulls jersey.
“I am a Blue Bull through and through, I’ve been playing for the Union since I was 12, and what we’ve got at Loftus is certainly something very special.
“The Bulls truly are a family and I undoubtedly missed that.
“I will be arriving in the country on Wednesday with my rugby boots and I am fit and eager to play!”