Sport | Rugby
Former Springbok flyhalf and captain Naas Botha was supposed to be at the golf day in JanKempdorp last week where four of his team-mates from the 1981 tour tested positive for Covid-19.
The four former Boks who were affected included centre Danie Gerber, flank Burger Geldenhuys, scrumhalf Divan Serfontein and fullback Colin Beck.
A fifth retired Bok, flyhalf Robbie Blair, who wasn’t part of the ‘81 squad, was still awaiting his test results on Tuesday.
Danie Gerber playing golf in Johannesburg, South Africa (Photo by Wessel Oosthuizen/Gallo Images)
“I was supposed to be at that golf day, but due to a work commitments I had to contact (and inform) them that I wouldn’t be able to attend,” Botha said.
“In the end this work assignment was called off at the last minute, but by then it was too late to still attend the golf day event.”
An icon of the game, Botha played just 28 Tests due to isolation, but he captained the Boks nine times and his 312 points in a national jersey stood in the record books for many years.
Now a regular pundit on SuperSport, Botha said it may have been a blessing that he didn’t attend the golf day, and he admitted it had come as a wake-up call.
“They are dear former teammates and I guess it’s the same reaction for thousands of people out there when somebody close to you tests positive for this virus,” he said.
Botha felt it was the media’s responsibility to ensure people were aware of the harsh realities of the coronavirus.
“It’s a real threat and the directives from our President should not be taken lightly,” he said.
A few players in the ‘81 squad had died over the years, including Botha’s brother Darius, who was the right wing, lock Louis Moolman, prop Ockie Oosthuizen, hooker Robert Cockrell and scrumhalf Gawie Visagie, as well as coach Johan Claassen and team manger Abe Williams.
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