Rudolph Jacobs
Rugby Journalist
1 minute read
14 Nov 2013
6:00 am

Botha delighted to get Boks’ call

Rudolph Jacobs

Veteran Springbok lock Bakkies Botha admitted he was not totally surprised when he finally got the call from coach Heyneke Meyer – but rather experienced a feeling of happiness.

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

Botha, 34, is set to add to his 76 Test caps this weekend against Scotland at Murrayfield if he is, as expected, included in the starting line-up today in the place of Eben Etzebeth who is sorely in need of a rest.

“When I finally go the call from Heyneke it was more a feeling of happiness than surprise,” said Botha.

“Even since the day I left, I get up every morning still having that burning desire to play in the Green and Gold.”

Botha has been seen in a mentorship role for the younger players who are coming through, like Etzebeth and Pieter-Steph du Toit and said it was amazing to be part of the Springbok family once again.

“There are some big names coming through now and if I can impart some of my experience off on to the younger generation, I will be more than happy,” said Botha.

“When some of the younger players start calling me ‘oom’ I see it as either a sign of respect or that I am in fact old.”

Botha, who played his last Test for the Boks during the 2011 World Cup in New Zealand, added that it was almost like a new start to his career.

“When I started at Toulon it almost felt like being a young boy again and now being back at the Boks I haven’t set myself any long-term goals,” he said.

“The reality is that I don’t have another four of five years left in me, so I take it week by week. For instance, when I get up in the morning my next goal is the training in the afternoon, and so I take it day by day.”