Boks on Tour

Botha promises no let up

2010-12-03 08:09
Bakkies Botha (Gallo)

London - Bakkies Botha will treat the Barbarians with the same fierce and physical determination to win as he did England when world champions South Africa end their 2010 campaign at Twickenham on Saturday.

It was at the same ground a week ago where the Springboks put a dent in the new-found confidence of Martin Johnson's England with a 21-11 victory that also eased the pain of a preceding shock loss to Scotland, a defeat which denied South Africa a first 'grand slam' in 50 years.

And World Cup-winning lock Botha is determined the tourists will finish with a flourish, saying: "When I step onto the field, I give it my all. It doesn't matter who I am playing against.

"If I am representing South Africa it means I am prepared to put my body on the line," the 6ft 7in, 18st Botha added.

"I am as proud to play for the Springboks now as I was when I won my first cap all those years ago," explained the 31-year-old second row, who made the first of 72 Test appearances back in 2002.

"A lot has happened since then, but just putting on the jersey puts a smile on my face.

"That will be the case against the Barbarians. I will smile but I will also be very serious. That's because I know the Barbarians forwards will be very pumped up to beat us.

"In Chris Jack and Anton Van Zyl they have two guys in the second row who know their business well. It will be a very good battle in the line-outs and all over the field.

"But the main thing is we win again, and end our season on another good note. Beating England has given everyone a big lift again and the guys just want to get out there and play."

South Africa endured a torrid Tri-Nations, winning just one out of their six fixtures against Australia and eventual champions New Zealand.

Botha, nearly a year out from the Springboks' defence of the World Cup in New Zealand, said: "Our results have not been up to our usual standard this year but we have to take it on the chin and make sure things are better in 2011. The confidence and talent is still there, as you saw against England."

South Africa will be without Victor Matfield, Jean de Villiers, Jannie du Plessis, Bismarck du Plessis and Zane Kirchner through injury.

Read more on:    boks on tour  |  bakkies botha  |  boks

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