Arno Botha captained the Blue Bulls to the final of the Currie Cup, South Africa’s domestic competition, in 2016

Premiership strugglers London Irish have signed South Africa internationals Arno Botha and Piet van Zyl from Super Rugby side Blue Bulls.

Both players move to the Madejski Stadium with immediate effect.

Back-row forward Botha, 26, and scrum-half van Zyl, 28, made their Test debuts for the Springboks in 2013.

Botha played 47 Super Rugby matches for the Pretoria-based club while van Zyl featured 76 times in the competition for Cheetahs and the Blue Bulls.

Botha, who can play at flanker or number eight, had agreed to join Ulster on a two-year deal last summer but his move to the Pro14 side

The Exiles are bottom of the Premiership table, 10 points adrift of 11th-placed Worcester, after 12 games of the campaign.

The club have not disclosed the length of the pair’s contracts.

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