Ulster Rugby are looking to add Bulls captain and Springboks flanker Arno Botha to their ranks next season as Director of Rugby Les Kiss looks to strengthen his forward pack with Franco van der Merwe expected to leave for Cardiff.
After signing former Sharks flanker Marcell Coetzee last year, Kiss is now looking to pry Bulls skipper Botha for next season with the Springbok backrower off contract with the Pretoria based side at the end of the season.
According to the Irish Independent, the province are close to capturing Botha pending IRFU approval, with IRFU policy dictating that Irish Rugby provinces are only allowed one foreign international per position at any one time.
However, the IRFU have proven to be flexible with the policy in the past granting the signing of Charles Piutau at Ulster this season despite the presence of internationals Zane Kirchner (South Africa) and Isa Nacewa (Fiji) at Leinster.
Botha, 25, led his side to the Currie Cup final last year, which saw the Blue Bulls lose 36-16 to the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein.
Botha has previously played two Tests for the Springboks with both of those appearances coming in 2013 against Scotland and Italy.
Jack O’Toole, Pundit Arena