Bakkies: ‘World XV’ shock pick
Cape Town – He may be closing in on his 33rd
birthday in September, but Bakkies Botha must have been doing something right
in his tenure with French club Toulon.
The 2007 Springbok World Cup winner and former Bulls
favourite a little surprisingly cracks the nod for a World XV picked by
UK-based Rugby World magazine in their latest (August) edition, following the
various June Test series across the planet.
The selection, while obviously weighted in favour of players
who turned out for their countries in the June window, also includes some who
were either injured or – as in Botha’s case – overlooked for the Tests.
Although the magazine is not yet available in South Africa,
the side was tweeted on Wednesday night by South African-based freelance rugby
writer Mark Keohane (@mark_keohane), who has been in England recently.
It includes three Springboks – aside from Botha, right wing
JP Pietersen and hooker Bismarck du Plessis, both of whom were influential in
the 2-0 series triumph over England, made the cut.
World Cup champions New Zealand have four representatives
and Australia two, bringing to nine the number of southern hemisphere players
There are some contentious picks, including two Scottish
tight forwards in Richie Gray and Euan Murray – the “selectors” were possibly
swayed by the Scots’ surprise victory over hosts Australia in a once-off Test
in atrocious conditions at Newcastle a few weeks ago.
Here is the
magazine’s full side:
15 Rob Kearney (Ire),
14 JP Pietersen (SA), 13 Conrad Smith (NZ), 12 Jamie Roberts (Wales), 11 George
North (Wal), 10 Dan Carter (NZ), 9 Will Genia (Aus), 8 Kieran Read (NZ), 7
David Pocock (Aus), 6 Dan Lydiate (Wal), 5 Richie Gray (Sco) 4 Bakkies Botha
(SA), 3 Euan Murray (Sco), 2 Bismarck du Plessis (SA), 1 Tony Woodcock (NZ).
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