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Courtney Lawes' new ProD2 club closing in on ex-Springbok

By Ian Cameron
Sikhumbuzo Notshe and Bongi Mbonambi for the Springboks during the 2018 Castle Lager Incoming Series match between South Africa and England at Emirates Airline Park on June 09, 2018 in Johannesburg, South Africa. (Photo by Lee Warren/Gallo Images)

French ProD2 club Brive is set to bolster their squad with the signing of former Springbok back row Sikhumbuzo Notshe – according to reports.

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The 31-year-old openside’s exit from the Sharks was confirmed by the club at the end of the 2023/24 season.

Now South African Sunday newspaper Rapport write that Notshe will now join fellow ex-Sharks teammate Curwin Bosch at the Stade Amédée-Domenech.

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He will be one of a number of high-profile signing by the ambitious Pierre Henry-Broncan-coached side. The Les Noir et Blanc club have already secured the services of England rugby and Northampton Saints legend Courtney Lawes, which was confirmed back in February.

Despite interest from the Stormers to re-sign him, DoR John Dobson said it was unlikely that Notshe would return to his former club: “My big hope with Notshe is that he gets a nice gig, where he progresses his career and gets back to where he was,” said Dobson. “I’m not sure that’s going to be here. We’ve had chats, but nothing formal about the Stormers. It is fluid. I was hoping the Sharks would extend his contract. I genuinely just want Notshe to be ok.”

Notshe had spent his entire rugby career in Cape Town until 2019, having begun his rugby journey at Wynberg Boys’ High School.

He made his Currie Cup debut for Western Province in 2013 and stepped onto the Super Rugby stage a year later.

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The 6’1, 101kg flanker earned the first of six Test caps for the Springboks in a match against Wales in Washington in 2018. However his career at the Stormers stagnated, leading him to move to rival South African URC side – the Durban-based Cell C Sharks.

Brive’s signing of Notshe along with Bosch and Lawes is part of the club’s ongoing efforts to strengthen their squad as they aim to break back into the Top 14. They ended the 2023/24 ProD2 season in sixth place, but will be keen to climb back into the French top-flight in the 2025/26 season.

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