CAPE TOWN – He was somewhat unfairly thrown on the Springbok scrapheap, but now Marnitz Boshoff is back in South African rugby.
After a brief tenure with Connacht in Ireland, Boshoff was announced as a Blue Bulls player on Wednesday afternoon.
The 28-year-old flyhalf was released from his contract at the Irish club on humanitarian grounds, after his father passed away late last year.
He wanted to be closer to his family in South Africa, and now he will be back at his spiritual rugby home of Loftus Versfeld.
It is of course in Pretoria where Boshoff made his name, although he had to move to the Lions later in his career to get regular game time as he had to play behind Springbok first-choice pivot Morné Steyn.
He made a turn at Griquas before joining the Lions in 2013, and the rest is history as he became a Springbok the next year, earning a solitary cap against Scotland in Port Elizabeth as a substitute.
Boshoff was surprisingly ignored by Heyneke Meyer after that, and with Elton Jantjies establishing himself as the Lions’ first-choice flyhalf, Boshoff left last year.
His biggest strength is his superb goal-kicking, while he also possesses a good passing game.
The fact that he will be available for the Bulls immediately is a huge boost, as Handré Pollard is in the Bok squad and Tian Schoeman has moved to France, which has left Tony Jantjies as the only experienced No 10 in Pretoria.
Another top signing announced by the Bulls on Wednesday is Blitzbok star Tim Agaba, who plays as a No 8 in 15-man rugby.
A powerful ball-carrier and lineout option, Agaba has previously played for Eastern Province, but will hope to push for higher honours at the Bulls under new boss John Mitchell.
The Blue Bulls Company also confirmed that prop Lizo Gqoboka and lock Jason Jenkins were among a group of players who have signed contract extensions.
New Blue Bulls contracts
Marnitz Boshoff (Connacht; flyhalf/fullback) till 2019; Jano Venter (Golden Lions; No 8, flank) till 2019; Tim Agaba (Springbok Sevens, No 8, loose forward) 2019.
Lizo Gqoboka, Jason Jenkins, André Warner, Gerhard Steenekamp (all 2019), Duncan Matthews (2020).