Bothma relishing opportunity at Sharks

    2015-04-01 14:07

    Durban - Sharks flank Renaldo Bothma has been one of the outstanding performers for the Durban franchise this season.

    After a disappointing start to their Super Rugby campaign, the Sharks have bounced back to top the South African conference. Following defeats to the Cheetahs, Bulls and Stormers, the men from Durban have managed three straight victories to surge up the standings.

    A key player during this resurgence has been Bothma, who has made a notable impact on attack and defence whenever called upon.

    It’s been amazing rise through the ranks for the 25-year-old, who received the surprise call to join the Sharks late last year after showing great form for the Pumas during the Currie Cup.

    “I remember that moment very well. I was very surprised as I didn’t expect the opportunity to play for the Sharks in Super Rugby,” Bothma told

    “Last year, I was in the Lions’ Super Rugby squad, but never received the opportunity to play. I thought my opportunity would never come, but then the Sharks gave me a chance.

    “I’m making the most of my opportunity here. It’s also great that I’ve been able to start games this year. The pace of Super Rugby is quick, but I feel I’ve adapted very well. I’m very happy at this stage of my career and I’m enjoying my rugby.

    “The team has done well to pick up some important results in recent weeks,” added Bothma. “As individuals, we had to take a hard look at ourselves during a difficult start to the competition, but the guys have responded well to this. We stuck to our guns, played according to the game plan and worked hard as a unit.”

    Bothma is one of several Pumas players who have made the step up to Super Rugby this season. Others include prop Vincent Koch (Stormers), lock Giant Mtyanda (Sharks) and scrumhalf Faf de Klerk (Lions).

    “Some credit needs to go to Pumas coach Jimmy Storehouse, who coached us well at the Pumas. He backed us and gave us the opportunity to showcase our talents,” explained Bothma. “I’m very happy to see the guys doing well at higher levels. I’m sure more players from the so-called smaller unions will go on and prove their worth in Super Rugby in future.”

    Moving from Nelspruit to Durban wasn’t a difficult move for Bothma, who spent his junior years at the Sharks. He represented the Sharks Under-19s (2008), Sharks Under-21s (2009) and the Sharks XV in the Vodacom Cup (2010).

    “It’s great to be back in Durban, which is a lovely city with so much to do,” said Bothma. “I spend a lot of time on and off the field with the likes of Marco Wentzel, Ryan Kankowski, Marcell Coetzee and Lionel Cronje.”

    Looking ahead, Bothma said he wants to use this Super Rugby experience to add value to Namibia’s World Cup plans.

    “I’m part of the Namibia squad that will compete at the World Cup later this year, so I want to soak in all the experience Super Rugby offers and give something back to the team ahead of the tournament,” said Bothma.

    “Super Rugby allows me to face some of the best players in world rugby, and this gives me valuable insight, which I can take back to the Namibian camp as the players prepare to compete in the World Cup.”

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