I am not a thug - Bakkies

2012-01-06 10:13
Bakkies Botha (Gallo Images)
Johannesburg - Toulon lock Bakkies Botha has called on French officials to judge him on his actions, not his supposed reputation for being a dirty player.

The Springbok veteran made his Top 14 debut last weekend in Toulon's 25-6 defeat to relegation-threatened Biarritz having arrived in France following the World Cup to start a three-year deal with RCT.

Despite his colourful disciplinary record, the 32-year-old insists that his love for the physical side of the game does not necessarily make him a villain.

"I am not a thug. I love the battle, that's all," the 76-Test cap second rower told Midi Olympique.

Botha used two anecdotes from his past to illustrate how his reputation has a habit of proceeding him.

"I was given a three-week suspension a few years ago for pushing (Australia flank) Phil Waugh at a ruck," he explained.

"When it came to the disciplinary hearing, the judge asked me how many times I had been cited in my life. I told the truth - once. He did not believe me and asked me if I had personal problems, if I hit my kids... It was ridiculous.

"People are wrong about me. I do not eat children.

"In the Currie Cup my opponents use to target me. One day, (Sharks lock) AJ Venter was trying to make me lose my temper. At every scrum (referee) Craig Joubert was saying to me: 'Stay with me, Bakkies. Nothing will happen to you.'"

Botha has made helping Toulon qualify for the Heineken Cup his primary target and hopes to repay the faith put in him by club president Mourad Boudjellal.

"I want Toulon to qualify for the Heineken Cup next year. I want to be part of that success," he explained.

"Four years ago, I was on the verge of signing with Toulon. However, we couldn't break my contract with the Bulls and it ended in court where I lost.

"So I was delighted when Mourad Boudjellal came after me again two years later. That tells me that he is a man of his word. Last year, I had other contract offers in Europe but I chose Toulon out of respect for him."


What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...


With the Absa Premiership in full swing, who will be crowned champions when all is said and done? Will Mamelodi Sundowns defend their title? Or can Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates or Bidvest Wits mount a serious challenge? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

SA Rugby's coaching indaba is set to take place this week. Do you think the two-day think-tank will make any difference?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.