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Welsh rugby enveloped in its latest existential crisis

As Wayne Pivac teeters on the edge of finding new gainful employment after a series of disappointing results, the wider-lens story tells of dysfunction and frustration

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Levani Botia turns down Leicester Tigers

By Ian Cameron
Levani Botia /Getty

Blockbusting Fijian hybrid player Levani Botia has turned down advances from Leicester Tigers and will stay on at Ronan O’Gara’s La Rochelle – it was confirmed this week.

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The Fijian skipper had been heavily linked with a move to Steve Borthwick’s Premiership league leaders but has instead been convinced to stay put at Les Corsaires.

It was confirmed this week that Botia has signed on for another two seasons at the club which he joined in 2014.

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Botia is a rare breed of player who can play both in the back row and in the centres, where his explosive ball carrying appears to be equally effective.

The 32-year-old has more recently been deployed by O’Gara as a back row. O’Gara told Le Equipe this week: “It’s just added value for our back row which, since the start of the season, has taken a small hit in  with the career stoppage of Kévin Gourdon and the lack of availability of Wiaan Liebenberg and Victor Vito.”

Botia (6ft, 103kg) is nicknamed ‘The Demolition’ man and has been a mainstay of the French side throughout their climb through the French ranks.  He has played 141 matches in Yellow and Black, becoming a cult hero at Marcel Deflandre. 

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