Bakkies shuts door on RWC rumours

2015-07-07 13:56
Bakkies Botha (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Bakkies Botha says that he is not waiting for a phone call from Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer as preparations for the Rugby World Cup in September continue. 

Botha, who has just ended a four-year stint in France with Toulon, says that he was aware of the speculation linking him with a surprise call-up to the Bok World Cup squad but firmly denied his participation in the tournament. 

On Tuesday last week, Meyer was quoted as saying on SuperSport's Boots & All that Botha had popped into the Springboks training session and was "in good shape". Meyer confirmed he'd asked Botha to "stay in shape" in case he was required for duty in England in September and October.

"Definitely not," Botha, who is in Cape Town with the World XV preparing for Saturday's clash against the Springboks, said however. 

"There was speculation that I need to keep the door open for the World Cup. There were a lot of people who said that I have another World Cup in me and I truly believe I do have.

"But I think I called it a day because I know that my last game was when I came from the bench against England at Twickenham (the Boks won 31-28 in November 2014) and I think that peace of mind, that inner peace in me, was the main reason I set a date to retire.

"I knew that myself, as a player, I was still good enough to play for the Springboks and with that mindset I will always remember that I had the talent and the capacity to play for the Springboks when I called it a day.

"There are not a lot of players in world rugby who can stop on their own terms and I did that, on my own terms. I asked for one or two Test matches and I got more... I'm quite happy where I am and just feel blessed to be involved in this weekend's Test match."

Botha also confirmed that he would not be representing anybody next season. 

"I'm actually done. I retired when I left Toulon four or five weeks ago. I had an option to maybe go for one more year," the towering 35-year-old veteran of 85 Tests said. 

"As a human being you must say to yourself, what is enough? Because if enough is not enough, then what is enough? How long is the rope?

"It will be awesome just to sit at home next season and watch the games on TV and just enjoy the characters of all the guys and I've hopefully earned (their) respect too."

Kick-off on Saturday is at 17:00. 

Read more on:    toulon  |  springboks  |  bakkies botha  |  cape town  |  rugby


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