Lions looking to sign Bulls lock Bakkies Botha

The Lions are looking to sign Springbok and Bulls lock Bakkies Botha for the 2012 Super rugby season.

Both has a contract with the Bulls that will expire at the end of October and it was expected that he would join cash rich Toulon in France.

Sources in France have however confirmed that Toulon gave up chasing Botha when he told them he wanted to end his career in South Africa.

The Bulls have not discussed a contract extension with Botha as he gave them an indication that he would not be interested in renewing the contract.

The Lions want to sign a big lock for next season and they originally approached Stormers lock Andries Bekker but he turned them down so the Lions had to look elsewhere.

The Bulls acknowledged to Supersport that they knew about approaches being made to Botha but chief executive Barend van Graan said they had heard “nothing official yet and therefore cannot comment on the matter.”

South African players are allowed to negotiate new contracts from the 1st of July as per SARU regulations but this does not stop a player from negotiating with a third party.

A number of the Bulls’ Springboks such as Fourie du Preez and Victor Matfield have already stated that they will retire from international rugby and probably play overseas after the Rugby World cup.

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