Llanelli lure Botica from Orrell

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The Independent Online
Llanelli, rather than Orrell, are likely to sign the former All Black Frano Botica. Orrell negotiated a two-year deal with Castleford rugby league club last March for the services of the 33-year-old stand-off in the union season, and he played in the opening three Courage League games for the First Division club.

However, Llanelli, who failed to sign Warrington's talented Welshman Iestyn Harris in the summer, are believed to have agreed a deal around pounds 85,000 to buy out Botica's contract from Castleford.

The ambitious Welsh club are to offer compensation to Orrell when they meet to resolve the matter today.

Llanelli want Botica to make his debut in Saturday's Welsh League match against Swansea, providing he recovers from a hip injury he picked up in Orrell's home defeat by Leicester.

The Ireland tight-head prop Peter Clohessy, who received a 26-week suspension for stamping on France's Olivier Roumat at the Parc des Princes last February, has signed a contract with the Queensland Rugby Union.

Clohessy, who is not expected to play at club level, is to move to Australia early in the New Year after signing a five-month contract believed to be worth pounds 50,000. "I feel that if I did not go, I might subsequently regret it," Clohessy said. "I feel it will do me good to start again in a new environment. It has been hard to be out of the game since last February but I must put that behind me."

The five-month suspension proved costly for Clohessy, who lost his place in Ireland's squad at the end of last season and was ruled out of virtually half the coming campaign. He was banned until December, by which time he would have found it difficult to regain his international place.

Clohessy, who has 16 international caps, had already left Young Munster to switch to Garryowen for this season, but has now severed his connection with them. He has said, however, that he will return to play in Irish rugby when his Queensland contract ends.

Queensland's John Connolly, who coached the Old Belvedere club in Dublin last season, persuaded Clohessy to move to Australia. Coincidentally, Clohessy was at the centre of controversy when he helped his province, Munster, defeat Australia in Cork in 1992. After the match, he was accused of dirty play by the then Wallaby coach, Bob Dwyer.

The following season, Clohessy was suspended for stamping in a league match.