Jacob Botica, son of dual-code New Zealand international Frano, has returned to France to extend his playing career following the end of his two-year stint at Dragons, the Welsh Guinness PRO14 outfit.

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The arrival of coach Dean Ryan along with the Wales out-half Sam Davies last summer resulted in the Dragons becoming a much-changed set-up from the Bernard Jackman-led organisation that Botica joined in 2018 after impressing with RGC in the Welsh Premiership.

He made ten appearances under Ryan but the out-half now opted to try his luck back in France where he previously played with Saint-Jean d’Angely and Saint-Medard in Federale 1 either side of a season with Agen in Pro D2. His sojourn in Wales included some game time with the Scarlets in 2017/18.

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It is Federale 1 level that the Wigan-born Botica is returning to, the 27-year-old brother of Bordeaux’s Ben taking up an offer with Rennes.

Speaking about the signing, Rennes boss Kevin Courties said: “We went through a network of agents to find an out-half and that is how we were put in contact with Jacob. He wanted to come back to France to the club culture that is looking to impose a rather ambitious game based on movement.

“He is a goalscorer, an attacker who seeks to play high on the line. We like it. Jacob is also an experienced player who remains relatively young. I’m not worried about his adaptation to the group and the championship.”

Rennes is located less than a five-hour drive from Botica’s brother Ben in Bordeaux who has featured for Oyonnax and Montpellier in the Top 14 following his move from Harlequins in 2016 after four seasons in the Premiership.  

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