Rudolph Jacobs
Rugby Journalist
2 minute read
6 Jun 2014
10:00 am

‘Bring it on’ – Bakkies Botha

Rudolph Jacobs

For big Springbok lock Bakkies Botha the second "homecoming" was even better than the first one.

FILE PICTURE: Bakkies Botha. Picture: Ian MacNicol/Gallo Images.

The 34-year-old veteran, who has earned 78 Test caps, will be reunited with long-time lock partner Victor Matfield tomorrow against the World XV at Newlands as the firm of yesteryear takes up the cudgels once again.

“Last November when I was first recalled to the side there were a lot of new faces, but now this second time it was great to see some of the old faces again.

“It remains a massive honour,” said Botha.

“It is always nice to play alongside Vic, he brings that calmness and confidence with him.

“You just have to look at his body language to know exactly what he is going to do.

“And now that he has lost a few kilos it will be easier to lift him,” chirped Botha.

The lock comes off a big high with Toulon after the club won the Heineken Cup and the French Top-14 on two consecutive weekends.

“It has been two incredible weekends, but that is over now and I’m looking forward to starting on a high against a very good World XV side,” said Botha.

The former Bulls enforcer should be fresh after spending about three-and-a-half months on the sidelines with a broken arm.

“I first made my comeback against Racing Metro, followed by games against Saracens and Castres in the final of the French leg, which was very physical,” he said. “But my body feels good, the injury has healed 100% and I’m ready to give my all for the Boks.”

He warned that the Boks must be wary against the experienced campaigners in the World XV.

“There’s prop Carl Hayman, a former All Black who plays with me at Toulon, and a very physical player. And then there is that strong (loose forward) Mamuka Gorgodze (Georgia, 51 caps), who has just signed for Toulon from Montpellier,” cautioned Botha.