BJ Botha signs Munster contract extension

Niall Scannell and Kevin O’Byrne also commit to province with new deals

Munster prop BJ Botha has signed a contract extension. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Munster prop BJ Botha has signed a contract extension. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

 

BJ Botha has signed a six-month contract extension to remain at Munster until at least December 2015.

Munster’s South African prop first joined the province at the start of the 2011/12 season and has made 93 appearances.

Head Coach Anthony Foley says the deal is a huge boost to all involved in the province.

“BJ’s contract is up at the end of this season but after working closely with the IRFU we have thankfully secured the services of a player of his calibre for a further six months.

“He brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to the scrum and front row and it is a huge boost to the squad to have him available during the World Cup window when our squad numbers will be reduced.”

The 35-year-old has 25 caps and was a member of the South African squad that won the 2007 Rugby World Cup.

The province have also secured contract extensions for fellow front rows Niall Scannell and Kevin O’Byrne.

Scannell has signed a two-year full contract and O’Byrne has put pen to paper on a one-year development contract.

Hooker Scannell moved in to the senior squad as a development player at the start of the 2013/14 season and is a former Ireland Under-20’s captain and graduate of the Munster Rugby academy with six Munster caps.

Fellow hooker O’Byrne joined the squad on a training contract at the start of this season and he has gone on to make 11 appearances for the province.

It has also been confirmed this week that Development prop Alan Cotter will leave the province at the end of the current season. Cotter is set to join French Federale 1 side Le Parc Pays D’Aix who are currently in pursuit of Pro D2 qualification.

Foley says that the current season alone has shown us how critical it is to have a number of options available at hooker.

“Out of a possible six hookers we had two, max three, available for most of the season through various injuries. With Varley’s retirement confirmed and Mike Sherry out since November 2013 it’s great to see these young players, both Kevin and Niall, taking their opportunities and committing their futures to the province.”

Meanwhile Connacht Assistant Coach Dan McFarland will leave his role with the club at the end of the current season to explore another opportunity abroad.

The former prop, who played for the province from 2000 to 2006, was first appointed as Forwards Coach in 2006 and then Assistant Coach in 2010.

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