Bakkies back to bolster Toulon

2014-05-16 14:06
Bakkies Botha (Getty)
Cape Town - Springbok lock Bakkies Botha will return for Toulon when they tackle Racing Metro in their French Top 14 semi-final in Lille on Friday night (20:45 SA time).

Botha, 34, has been out of action for the last four months with a broken arm but is back in the Toulon starting team for the all-important clash.

Botha is one of five South Africans in the Toulon 23-man squad. The others are wing Bryan Habana, flank Juan Smith, hooker Craig Burden and replacement scrumhalf Michael Claassens. Of these, only Burden is not a Springbok.

Racing themselves have a large South African contingent. No 8 Jacques Cronjé, lock Juandré Kruger and replacement prop Brian Mujati are Springboks, while flank Bernard le Roux and lock Francois van der Merwe are South African-born.

Saturday's second semi-final (16:30 SA time) between Montpellier and Castres also features a few South Africans.

Former Shark, Rory Kockott, is Castres' scrumhalf, while Wynand Olivier and Robert Ebersohn are Montpellier's centres.

Both semi-finals are played on neutral ground - the Grande Stade in Lille.



15 Delon Armitage, 14 Drew Mitchell, 13 Mathieu Bastareaud, 12 Matt Giteau, 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Jonny Wilkinson, 9 Sebastien Tillous Borde, 8 Steffon Armitage, 7 Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe, 6 Juan Smith, 5 Jocelino Suta, 4 Bakkies Botha, 3 Carl Hayman, 2 Craig Burden, 1 Xavier Chiocci

Susbtitutes: 16 Jean Charles Orioli, 17 Alexandre Menini , 18 Ali Williams, 19 Virgile Bruni, 20 David Smith, 21 Maxime Mermoz , 22 Michael Claassens, 23 Martin Castrogiovanni.

Racing Metro: 15 Juan Martin Hernandez, 14 Adrien Plante, 13 Henry Chavancy, 12 Jamie Roberts, 11 Juan Imhoff, 10 Jonathan Sexton, 9 Maxime Machenaud, 8 Jacques Cronjé, 7 Bernard le Roux. 6 Antoine Battut, 5 Francois van der Merwe, 4 Juandré Kruger, 3 Luc Ducalcon, 2 Virgile Lacombe, 1 Julien Brugnaut.

Substitutes: 16 Jeremie Maurouard, 17 Eddy Ben Arous, 18 Fabrice Metz, 19 Wenceslas Lauret, 20 Mike Phillips, 21 Fabrice Estebanez, 22 Benjamin Fall , 23 Brian Mujati


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