Cape Town - The most-capped Currie Cup player, Sharks flank Jacques Botes, will retire at the end of the 2014 domestic campaign.
According to the MyPlayers website, the 33-year-old engraved his
name in the South African rugby annals last season when he surpassed
Helgard Muller to become the player with most Currie Cup caps in the
history of the competition.
He has currently played 147
matches, having represented the Sharks and the Pumas since 2002. He will
now continue to add to this amazing feat during the current Currie Cup
campaign with the Durban-based union, which will be his last.
“I have decided that this will
be my last season as a player,” Botes told MyPlayers. “I’ve enjoyed an
amazing journey, which started at the Pumas and carried on at the
Sharks. I’ve enjoyed great memories, both on and off the field, during
my time at both teams.
“I’ve also made many
friendships along the way. Corniel van Zyl, who currently plies his
trade in Italy, is a very good friend of mine and we started our careers
together at the Pumas. I’m also very close with the likes of Johann
Muller, Ruan Pienaar and Jean Deysel, just a few among many more. These
friendships will go on for a very long time.”
Looking back on his career,
Botes recalls many fond memories, including his Currie Cup debut,
favourite tries and toughest opponents.
“I still remember my debut very
clearly, although it was 12 years ago!,” he explained. “I joined the
Pumas squad quite late in the competition, and we needed a 25-point win
over SWD to remain in the Currie Cup Premier Division. We managed to
secure the big win, which was a great start to my provincial career.
“Over the years, there have
been many great achievements,” he added. “I’ve had the honour of playing
in many Currie Cup finals, and I’ve cherished every moment when I was
on the winning side. My favourite try definitely came during the 2011
season against the Lions, when I ran over 40m to line.
“Playing in Super Rugby and the
Currie Cup has allowed me to play some of the best players t have
played the game. It was great to play against the likes of Richie McCaw
and George Smith on the international scene. In South Africa, Schalk
Burger and Heinrich Brussow were outstanding.”
Botes added that he will
continue life at the Sharks after his retirement at the end of the
season. He will be taking on an administrative post in Durban, which
will see him managing the players.
"I've run a few training
sessions at the Investec International Rugby Academy, but I wasn't too
serious about getting into coaching," explained Botes. "I've been lucky
enough to experience the administrative side to the game, and I enjoy it
a lot. I will play a big role in managing the players at the Sharks,
which I'm excited about."
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