Harlequins’ fly-half Ben Botica will leave the club at the end of the season to join Top 14 outfit Montpellier in France.

The 26-year-old’s position had been in jeopardy after it was announced yesterday (Tuesday) that Scottish fly-half Ruaridh Jackson would become a Quin in the summer.

Botica, a native New Zealander, has made 93 appearances for the club, scoring 544 points, since joining in 2012.

He said: “It was a very hard decision for me to leave Harlequins. The last four years, in terms of my development as a player, have been priceless.

“Being around such a great group, in playing ability and as people, is something you can’t buy.

“Had it not been for Conor [O’Shea, director of rugby] calling me up four years ago in New Zealand, I don’t know where I would be with my rugby career, so I’m truly grateful to the club for the opportunity they gave me having not seen too much of me.”

He added: “It’s beginning to hit home how much I will miss this club and the people associated with it.

“I’ve been given a new and exciting challenge in France with Montpellier, but my immediate focus is to help Harlequins finish top six and win European silverware.”

Botica, who has played deputy to Nick Evans this season, but was called into the side when injury ruled out his rival – going on to make 23 appearances across all formats, scoring 199 points, is one of six players leaving the Stoop come at the end of hostilities later this month.

Scrum half Tito Tebaldi joins Guinness Pro 12 side Treviso, and second row Keiran Treadwell makes the move to Ulster from the Quins academy.

Beau Robinson, Sam Egerton and Luke White are also set to leave.

O’Shea said: “They have each made their own mark on the club in the day to day environment and during testing times on the field.

“I know everyone at Harlequins is grateful to them, and I would like to wish them the best of luck in their future careers.”