Western Province have signed the highly-rated South African Under-20 lock Ruan Botha, set to leave the Lions at the end of the Currie Cup season.
Botha, a member of the 2012 IRB Junior World Championship-winning Baby Boks team, stands 2.03 metres tall and weighs in at 113 kilograms.
He made his Vodacom Cup Super Rugby debut for the Lions earlier this year and is also a member of their Currie Cup squad at present.
According to WP forwards coach, Matt Proudfoot, the Brakpan-born forward – who turns 21 in January 2013 – will add some good depth to the locking resources in the Cape.
"We noticed him and watched him in the SA U20 team where he played really well for the winning SA U20 side," commented Proudfoot.
"We feel that he's a young guy with a bright future and with Andries still here for a few years he can learn all the intricacies of No.5 lock play from Andries and add to our lock factory in the process.
Proudfoot added that Botha would add to the stable of talented young forwards in Cape Town at the moment as they plan for long-term success.
"With players like Steven (Kitshoff), Frans (Malherbe), Scarra (Ntubeni), Eben (Etzebeth), Siya (Kolisi) and Nizaam (Carr) all still eligible for the WP U21 team this season, and Ruan still U21 next year, it will allow us to build on the longevity of our young forward resources."
Botha, in turn, added: "I am delighted to be joining Western Province and look forward to this new chapter in my rugby career.
"I would like to thank the Lions Rugby Union for their unwavering support through the years and wish them all the best going forward."
Botha is one of four players that the Golden Lions Rugby Union announced would not extend their contracts at the end of the year.
The statement said: "These players have elected not to renew their contracts following the uncertainty leading up to the Super Rugby 2013 decision. The players received great exposure at the Lions and we wish them well in their future endeavours. The players will remain part of the group until 31 October 2012."
The three other players were prop Caylib Oosthuizen who has signed with the Cheetahs, lock Paul Willemse who has signed with the Bulls and prop Jacobie Adriaanse who will move to Wales to play for the Scarlets.