Super 14 Rugby

Irish clubs raid Super 14 teams for more players



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Ulster will officially announce that the Sharks’ powerhouse tight-head prop BJ Botha (pictured) is Ravenhill bound once it has been ratified by the IRFU.

Coach Matt Williams is also believed to have tempted former Aussie Rugby League star Clinton Schifcofske to move from the Queensland Reds according to the BBC.

Ulster are also hopeful that Stormers young number eight Robbie Diack will also make the trip to Ravenhill.

All three are believed to have been offered two-year contracts.

The 28-year-old Durban-born Botha was a member of South Africa’s 2007 World Cup-winning squad under Jake White.

Meanwhile, Botha, whose erstwhile rival for the Springbok jersey CJ van der Linde is presently being courted by Leinster, will be seen as a major coup.

Botha has played 16 times for the Springboks making his debut in 2006 against the All Blacks.

He played in all the pool games during the World Cup in France, but a knee injury sustained in the 64-15 victory over the USA ruled him out for the remainder of the tournament.

Botha has been a massive influence in the Sharks rise to second in the Super 14 table behind the Crusaders. The final of the competition is scheduled for 31 May.

The 32-year-old Schifcofske is a wing/full-back and was expected to replace Chris Latham in the Reds Super 14 set-up after the Wallaby star agreed a deal with Premiershipship side Worcester for next season.

A goal-kicker if immense power, Schifcofske has scored 179 points in his two seasons in the Super 14 since his switch from the Canberra Raiders.

Diack is only 22 and was rated as a possible Springbok after his Super 14 introduction two seasons ago.

He has great all-round skills and will hopefully fil the void by the exit of Neil Best, Roger Wilson and Neil McMillan.

All oversees provincial deals have to go through the relevant IRFU committee, but it is mostly a rubber-stamping exercise.


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