Rugby

Bakkies: ‘World XV’ shock pick

2012-07-05 12:46
Bakkies Botha (Gallo)
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 selected.

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).

*Follow our chief writer on Twitter: @RobHouwing

Read more on:    bakkies botha  |  rugby
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