Featured Player

Bakkies Botha

2011-09-22 10:10
Bakkies Botha (Gallo Images)

Full name: John Phillip Botha
Date of birth: September 22, 1979
Place of birth: Newcastle, Kwa-Zulu Natal, South Africa
Height: 2.02m (7 ft 2 in)
Weight: 122 kg (19 st 3 lbs)
Nickname: Bakkies
School: Vereeniging Technical High School and Middelburg Technical High School
Position: Lock
Club: Toulon

When Bakkies Botha retires from test rugby after the 2011 World Cup, he will end his international career as one of the most recognizable and memorable players to ever wear the green and gold of the Springboks.

The Bok stalwart is infamous for his physicality, notoriously short tempered and known the world over as the Springboks’ enforcer.

Botha can best be summed up as the type of player fans love when he’s playing for their side, but hate when he is playing for the opposition.

The former Blue Bulls lock has accrued over 70 Springboks caps and won the Currie Cup, Super Rugby, the Tri-Nations and the World Cup during his career.

These achievements mean the former Bulls lock is one of an elite group of players who have won every competition they have ever played in.

Botha’s all-out playing style has allowed him to achieve what he has, but it has also blighted his career in the past – giving him a reputation for foul play and earning him both unfair and unfair punishment.

The World Cup winner started his rugby career at the Falcons in Gauteng’s East Rand, but moved to Pretoria to join the Blue Bulls in 2001 and stayed at the union till 2011.

After only a year at the Bulls, the Newcastle born second-rower earned his first cap for South Africa at 23 years old, against France in Marseille.

Botha’s first cap was not one to remember, as the Springboks lost the game 30-10, but he would go on to have many other memorable games with the team.

Botha has since become a Springbok legend, along with his long-serving lock partner Victor Matfield.

The “Blood Brothers”, as the pair are known, have played over 60 tests together and hold the world record for the most appearances as a second row combination.


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