Ospreys sign Cheetahs tight-head Botha as Arhip departs

Tom Botha
Botha spent two years in France with Montpellier before returning to South Africa with Eastern Province Kings

Ospreys have signed Cheetahs tight-head prop Tom Botha for the start of next season.

His arrival will coincide with 29-year-old Moldovan Dmitri Arhip's departure for the French Top 14 after he was linked with Montpellier.

The 27-year-old South African Botha joins recruits from Scarlets Aled Davies and Scott Williams and Namibian international Lesley Klim.

Arhip arrived in 2012 and has scored four tries in 88 appearances.

Dmitri Arhip
Dmitri Arhip initially arrived as an emergency signing at Ospreys from Romanian club Dinamo Bucuresti

Botha has played Super Rugby, but said he prefers the Pro14 as "it's based more on scrums and forward mauling".

"I love all the forward related stuff, that's the strong point of my game."

"I spoke to a few of the South Africans who have played for the Ospreys before I decided to sign, and they all said only good things... I can't wait," he said.

Dan Griffiths, rugby general manager at Ospreys, said Botha has a "wealth of experience playing and scrummaging against opposition from just about every major rugby nation".

"There was considerable interest in his services so we are pleased that Tom has agreed to come to the Ospreys this summer."

In a statement, Ospreys said of Arhip: "He will leave the region next month with best wishes for the future."

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