It’s been a busy morning on the transfer markets, as both Bath and Munster have revealed that they have held on to two of their biggest stars respectively, while Ospreys have signed a South African centre on a short-term deal.
Ospreys Rugby are delighted to announce the signing of Johnny Kotze on a three month contract.
Described as “one of the most important cogs” at the Bulls following a season where he scored seven tries in 16 Super Rugby appearances, Kotze has agreed a short-term contract with the Region and will link up with the Ospreys later this month.
Capable of playing at inside and outside centre, as well as wing, 25-year old Kotze is 1.85m tall and weights in at 89kg.
Speaking after confirming his move to the Liberty Stadium, Kotze said:
“I am super psyched to join the Ospreys after the 2018 Currie Cup season. The Ospreys have had a great PRO 14 season thus far and I am looking forward to contributing to the club’s success in any way I can.”
Born in Carltonville, Kotze will add considerable experience to the Ospreys backline, having come through at Cape Town based Western Province before getting his first taste of Super Rugby with Stormers, featuring regularly in both the 2015 and 2016 seasons.
He then moved to Pretoria where he has played in the Currie Cup for Blue Bulls, this year establishing himself as an influential member of the Bulls’ Super Rugby squad. He is currently involved in Currie Cup action, with Blue Bulls well placed for a semi-final spot going into the final round of action this weekend. He will travel to Wales as soon as club’s involvement in the competition comes to an end.
Dan Griffiths, Rugby General Manager, welcomed Kotze, saying he will have an important role to play over the next three months.
“We are going in to an important period in terms of our aspirations for the season, with international call-ups and injuries impacting, so to have the ability to bring in a player of Johnny’s quality will give everyone a real boost.”
“Developing home grown talent remains a priority for us, as it should be, and we are proud to have an average of 21 Welsh qualified players in our matchday squad this season, but we recognise that adding in the right non Welsh qualified talent can help us achieve our performance targets.”
Meanwhile Bath Rugby have confirmed that Semesa Rokoduguni has signed a new long-term contract with the Club.
Rokoduguni has spent his entire professional career with the Blue, Black and White, scoring twice on his debut against Dragons in November 2012. The winger has continued his prolific try-scoring throughout his time in the West Country, with 48 tries in his 126 appearances to date.
A serving soldier in the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards, Rokoduguni said: “Bath is where my rugby journey started, and I couldn’t think of playing anywhere else. It doesn’t seem like six years since I made my first appearance. We have a hugely talented squad and coaching setup, and I know that there are great things to come from this group.
“I am extremely grateful to the British Army for allowing me the opportunity to play for Bath Rugby and for continuing to support me.”
Director of Rugby, Todd Blackadder, added: “Roko is one of the most gifted players I’ve ever worked with. He is one of a kind – he has the ability to create something out of nothing, so we’re understandably delighted that Roko’s committed his future to the Club.
“Our long-term plan is to develop a system around exceptional people and Roko is one of those. He has the attributes which will inevitably support the likes of Joe (Cokanasiga) with his development, which is a huge positive.”
Meanwhile, despite a mystery injury that has kept him sidelined since the start of the season, Conor Murray has signed a massive IRFU deal that will keep him in the red of Munster and green of Ireland for years to come.
Arguably the best scrumhalf on the planet, Murray’s new contract extension which will see him play his rugby in Ireland up to at least the end of June 2022.
The IRFU also revealed that the contract was also signed in early September and has been kept under wraps since. Speculation has mounted in Ireland over the injury and why neither the player nor Munster are willing to talk about it.
The contract is wholly funded by the IRFU.
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