Botha in action agaisnt Connacht. (Picture from rugbypicture.co.uk)

Ulster Rugby have confirmed the departure of BJ Botha at the end of the season as follows:

Ulster Rugby today confirmed that prop BJ Botha will be leaving the club at the end of the season.

BJ, who is currently sidelined with an elbow injury, joined Ulster at the start of the 2008-09 season from the Natal Sharks and has been an integral part of the Ulster Squad throughout his time with the club

BJ is currently working hard in rehab with our medical staff to be fit for our Heineken Cup quarter-final against Northampton Saints in early April and for our remaining Magners League fixtures as we aim to progress to the knockout stages of the competition.

Personally I’m in too minds about this one. There is no doubt that he did the business off the pitch having helped develop a series of youngsters and always appeared the consummate gentleman with the supporters but on the pitch I was always left a little disappointed.

As a (comparatively) small player in the world of international props there can also be no doubting that he has excellent technique but he took a long long time to adapt to the requirements of the Northern Hemisphere scrum being carded twice in his first season and penalised numerous times for technical infringements.

You have to admire his tenacity in that he came through this period and, after a few closed sessions with the referees from Ulster’s coaching team, he came out the other end vindicated in his belief in his ability but I couldn’t help think that, at times, his refusal to compromise cost the team. It may well have been a case of short term pain for long term gain but it did highlight the obstinacy of the man who bucked the system in South Africa and who appears to be bucking it here should his rumoured move to Turnipstan turn out to be true.

Nevertheless I wish him all the best as he served Ulster well,  but I for one won’t be overly concerned about our front row’s performance should he appear back at Ravers under the Turnipstani flag of convenience.

4 Comments

  1. My take on this would be that given the number of props currently on the books of Ulster Rugby the IRFU were unwilling to meet his demands if still playing for Ulster

    The IRFU want those props to be developed not sitting on the bench or playing AIL games

    Turnipstan on the other hand are about to lose Hayes Horan and Buckley with what in the pipeline?

    And if he helped to bring others in I wish him well

  2. My take on this would be that given the number of props currently on the books of Ulster Rugby the IRFU were unwilling to meet his demands if still playing for Ulster

    The IRFU want those props to be developed not sitting on the bench or playing AIL games

    Turnipstan on the other hand are about to lose Hayes Horan and Buckley with what in the pipeline