Harlequins sign Kiwi flyhalf Botica

Harlequins have signed New Zealand back Ben Botica on a two year contract beginning at the start of the 2012-13 season.


An added value for Harlequins is that Botica is a United Kingdom passport holder and qualifies as a local player.


The 22-year-old who joins the London club from North Harbour, is comfortable playing at centre or fly half. He is the son of the former New Zealand All Black and Wigan Warriors rugby league great, Frano Botica.


Ben made his senior debut for North Harbour against Southland in the Air New Zealand Cup in August 2009.


He became a regular in last year’s starting XV having earned promotion from his local club, North Shore,with performances that included a sequence of 32 goal kicks without a miss in league matches.


Since originally signing for Harlequins in October last, and having just missed out on selection for the Auckland Blues Super 15 Rugby squad, Ben decided to play the remainder of the current season in Perigueux in France with the local club, refreshing the language skills learned as a child when his father played in the French league.


Born in Takapuna in New Zealand’s North Island, Botica has represented the country at Schoolboy level.


Announcing the signing,  Conor O’Shea, Harlequins Director of Rugby said, “We rate Ben very highly and are confident that he will have an instant impact at the club, his positional versatility is attractive and the fact that he is a reliable goal kicker is a bonus. “


“We are associated with a certain style of attacking rugby and our recruitment of Ben is specifically related to our ability to play that style. We’re looking forward to him joining us next season.”


Commenting on his move Ben Botica said, “I am excited about linking up with Harlequins in July. Playing in the Aviva Premiership and Heineken Cup will be a new challenge and I expect that I will have some adjustments to make to my playing style.”


“I’ve watched Harlequins play over recent seasons and it is a team and style of rugby that I’m looking forward to being part of.”


 


 

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