5 of South Africa’s major stars will join the Barbarians line-up for 2 high-profile games this November.
Flyhalf Pat Lambie, lock Victor Matfield, prop Tendai Mtawarira and centre Jean de Villiers from the current Springbok squad will be joined by veteran forward Bakkies Botha against Gloucester on 17 November and Argentina on 21 November.
The Barbarians, who celebrate their 125th anniversary this year, will name their coach later this month and add further major names to their squad for the games at Kingsholm and Twickenham in due course.
In total, the South Africa quintet will bring 416 caps of international experience to the group. Botha, Matfield and De Villiers were all World Cup winners in France in 2007.
Bakkies Botha will captain the World XV against South Africa’s Springboks at DHL Newlands in Cape Town this Saturday.
The veteran lock leads an experienced side containing former Springboks JJ Engelbrecht (Blue Bulls) and Gurthrö Steenkamp (Toulouse) and with Flip van der Merwe (Blue Bulls) among the replacements.
Head Coach Robbie Deans described Botha, 35, as the “natural choice” to take charge as the invitation side prepare to test Heyneke Meyer’s men as they start their build-up to the Rugby World Cup.
“For a long time Bakkies has been a huge presence in the game here so it’ll be a real occasion when he leads the World XV out against his country,” said Deans.
“He’s really enjoyed this week, mixing with those he’s played against and he’s been a big contributor in helping the group come together. He was leading before he was appointed leader.”
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 4-year stint in France with Toulon, says that he was aware of the speculation linking him with a surprise call-up to the Springbok 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 Springboks 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.
Bakkies Botha will be joined by 3 South African Test players and 1 Ex-Sharks player who has formed part of the Springbok squad in the confirmed World XV squad for their match on Saturday 11 July at DHL Newlands in Cape Town against the Springboks.
The World XV squad boasts a combined total of 460 Test caps and represents 6 nations.
Rugby World Cup winning forwards Bakkies Botha (Toulon) and Gurthrö Steenkamp (Toulouse) will be joined by the Vodacom Blue Bulls’ JJ Engelbrecht and Flip Van der Merwe, as well as former Cell C Sharks hooker Craig Burden (Toulon), a Springbok tourist in 2012, in the 23-man squad which will be coached by former Wallaby and Crusaders mentor Robbie Deans.
The match will be the Springboks’ 1st of the 2015 season before a shortened Castle Later Rugby Championship. It will be a stern test for Heyneke Meyer’s team as they start their preparations for the Rugby World Cup later this year in England.
Springbok lock Bakkies Botha, who announced his retirement from international rugby late last year, will head up a strong group of Test icons for the match between South Africa and a World XV at DHL Newlands in Cape Town on Saturday 11 July 2015.
Botha is 1 of 9 Toulon players who will line up against the Springboks. The giants from the south of France recently won their 3rd consecutive European club title.
Toulon coach Bernard Laporte, who was previously in charge of the French national team, will assist former Wallaby and Crusaders coach Robbie Deans with the World XV.
Botha’s Toulon team-mates who have been confirmed for the World XV are Delon Armitage (fullback), David Smith (wing), Rudi Wulf (centre), Maxime Mermoz (centre), Steffon Armitage (loose forward), Ali Williams (lock), Craig Burden (hooker) and Alexandre Menini (prop).
Added to this list are Springbok and Vodacom Bulls centre JJ Engelbrecht, Wallaby scrumhalf Luke Burgess and France scrumhalf Maxime Machenaud. The World XV will be captained by Louis-Benoit Madaule, who plays on the flank for French club Bordeaux Begles.
Toulon boss Mourad Boudjellal took aim at the Stade Bordeaux spectators for showing “disrespect” to 1 of the game’s greatest players.
Stade Français stunned triple European champions Toulon 33 / 16 last Friday to reach the French Top 14 Final.
Led by the irrepressible Italian back row forward Sergio Parisse, Stade scored tries through flanks Rapahel Lakafia and Antoine Bourban, before a freak late score from wing Julien Arias gave a flattering skew to the final score – as they reached their 1st Final since defeating Clermont 23 / 18 in 2007.
It was a sad end for a number of veteran stalwarts, whose club careers ended with this defeat – including South Africa’s Bakkies Botha, along with Ali Williams and Carl Hayman of New Zealand.
Outgoing Toulon coach Bernard Laporte took aim at the players, for a lack of commitment, but the club President, Boudjellal, turned anger on the spectators.
He will soon return home to South Africa to focus on his family and his livestock farm, but life after rugby can wait a few more weeks. Bakkies Botha wants to go out in a blaze of glory with Toulon.
With a Rugby World Cup triumph in 2007, 3 Super Rugby championships with the Bulls and 2 European titles with Toulon, not to mention Tri-Nations, Currie Cup and Top 14 honours – few can match the Springbok 2nd row enforcer’s illustrious achievements.
But in the twilight of his career and savouring the prospect ahead of the “calmness of the bush”, Botha, perhaps befitting a deeply religious man, prefers to focus on the team, rather than his individual contribution.
Toulon, the Mediterranean port city he has called home since 2011, hope to be crowned kings of Europe for a 3rd successive year when they take on French rivals Clermont in the European Rugby Champions Cup final at Twickenham on Saturday.
“I’m really happy that I came to Europe to test myself in this league and I want to end my career hopefully making it into 2 finals (Champions Cup and Top 14),” said the 36-year-old lock.
Bakkies Botha could extend his stint at French club Toulon by a few months before calling time on his playing career.
The veteran Springbok lock last month announced his retirement from international rugby after representing his country in 85 Tests.
At the time, Botha said he would see out his contract with Toulon until the end of the current European season, before possibly finishing his playing career at a local Currie Cup team in 2015.
However, it appears Botha could extend his stint at Toulon by a few more months.
John Philip “Bakkies” Botha, born 22 September 1979 in Newcastle, KwaZulu-Natal has had a glittering international career that drew to a close on 22 November 2014.
He will continue to play for his French Club Toulon and has even hinted at retiring in South Africa with the Currie Cup.
In his professional career Botha has won everything there is to win.
With the Blue Bulls he won the Vodacom Cup in 2001 and then went on to add three Currie Cup titles to his name in 2002, 2004 and 2009.
With the Bulls in Super Rugby, Botha was part of the first South African team to lift the trophy in 2007 (in the professional era – with Transvaal winning the Super 10 in 1993), and then again in 2009 and 2010.
Heyneke Meyer paid tribute to Bakkies Botha, who announced his retirement from international rugby shortly after the Test.
“Bakkies will go down in history as one of the greatest Springboks of all time,” said Meyer of the 85-times capped lock forward. “He is a giant on the field and off it and never gave an inch, which personifies what Springbok rugby is all about.
“I’ve coached him for a very long time and while I’m immensely very proud of the player he’s become, I’m even more proud of the man Bakkies has become. I’ll forever be very proud of having been his coach.”
Springbok lock and Rugby World Cup winner Bakkies Botha has announced his retirement from international rugby.
Botha, who made his Test debut on 9 November 2002 against France in Marseille, while his 85th and final appearance for South Africa was last Saturday, when he came on as a replacement in the 31-28 victory over England at Twickenham.
During a stellar career, the 35-year-old lock won the Rugby World Cup with the Springboks in 2007 and was victorious at almost every other level of the game.
He has winners’ medals from the Castle Lager Rugby Championship (Tri-Nations), British & Irish Lions Series, Vodacom Super Rugby, Absa Currie Cup and Vodacom Cup, as well as the Heineken Cup and French Top 14.
Botha is the seventh most-capped Springbok of all time, is a three-time SA Rugby Player of the Year nominee (2003, 2004 and 2005) and holds the world record for the most Tests as a lock combination in the starting line-up with Victor Matfield (63).
Mourad Boudjellal is planning to take the IRB to court over payments to players on international duty in a groundbreaking move.
The outspoken Toulon president had already made his feelings clear erlier this season when he complained about having to pay the likes of Bryan Habana, Juán Martín Fernández-Lobbe and Bakkies Botha while they were away at the Rugby Championship.
And he has now revealed that he has the support of Premiership bosses in England ahead of a legal battle with the game’s governing body, who he has accused of an ‘abuse of power’.
“We’re in the process of speaking to our lawyers in Paris to see if we go to commercial or administrative court,” he told Var Matin.
“The IRB rules have no provisions for unions to pay the clubs for their internationals. Yet the IRB is made up of the unions.
Toulon president Mourad Boudjellal has demanded that Bryan Habana and Bakkies Botha quit the Springboks’ current Rugby Championship campaign and report for club duty.
Toulon recently lost 28-24 to Stade Francais, and currently sit at third on the Top 14 log.
Boudjellal is clearly not pleased with his side’s form at present, and has publicly lamented the club’s lengthy list of injuries as well as the absence of international stars like Habana, Botha, and Pumas flanker Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe.
Springbok and Toulon lock Bakkies Botha has spoken about life in France, the final 18 months of his career and what he has planned after rugby.
After his successful run with the Springboks in June against the World XV and Wales, the My Players website caught up with the 35-year-old during his off time in the South African bush.
It is understood that French-based players in the Springbok squad are unlikely to be available to play Scotland in next week’s Test in Port Elizabeth.
This means the likes of Morne Steyn, Gurthro Steenkamp, Bakkies Botha and Bryan Habana will all have to report back to their clubs.
It’s understood the clubs will invoke International Rugby Board (IRB) Regulation Nine, which governs the release of players for the June test window.
The regulation stipulates that releases are required for the second, third and fourth weekends of June, or for three matches.
The value of having veteran Bakkies Botha in the Springbok squad could be measured by how much time it takes new cap Lood de Jager to settle and become comfortable at international level.
The influence that the likes of Botha and now Victor Matfield could have on the development of the young players in the squad has often been referred to as one of the main reasons for having them in the mix.
It was when he saw the awe with which the youngsters regarded Botha when he joined the Boks in Wales last year that coach Heyneke Meyer made the decision to get the one half of the legendary “Blood Brother” combination into the mix more regularly.
But there is nothing quite like hearing it direct from the horse’s mouth, and De Jager left little doubt after his announcement in the match day 23 for Saturday’s first test against Wales here in Durban on Saturday that the presence of both Botha and Matfield has added even greater impetus to what has already been a special time for him.
Toulon’s South African contingent capped an unbelievably successful seven days by lifting the Bouclier de Brennus shield in Paris, after defeating Castres 18-10 in the Top 14 Final to go with their Heineken Cup title.
Former England fly-half Jonny Wilkinson was given the perfect send-off by Bakkies Botha, Juan Smith, Craig Burden and Bryan Habana, who all started the final, with Danie Rossouw and Michael Claassens appearing off the bench.
The match was Rossouw’s last before retirement and brings down the curtain on a truly glorious career in which he was won every trophy available to him, from league titles in Japan, France and Super Rugby to two Heineken Cups and of course the Rugby World Cup and old Tri-Nations.
“Blood brothers” Victor Matfield and Bakkies Botha could be reunited as the Springbok lock pairing in Test matches this year, the Rapport newspaper indicates.
Botha, 34, recently returned to action for his French club Toulon after missing most of the year with a broken arm. He was a key figure for Toulon when they won the Heineken Cup final at the weekend, beating English club Saracens 23-6 at Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium.
Springbok and Toulon lock Bakkies Botha has tweeted an X-ray showing nine steel pins inserted into a plate in his broken arm.
The Springbok and Toulon lock successfully underwent an operation to have a plate inserted in his arm after he broke it in Toulon’s 23-10 Top 14 defeat against Brive.
Botha is expected be out for two-and-a-half months, and he has indicated that his rehabilitation is on track.
Springbok lock Bakkies Botha faces a lengthy spell on the sidelines after he suffered a fractured forearm in Toulon’s 10-23 Top 14 loss to Brive on Saturday.
Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer has explained why he decided to not include lock Pieter-Steph du Toit in his squad to face Scotland on Sunday.
Combining a fair bit of Springbok news, as speculation flows…
John McFarland, Springbok defensive coach says the Springbok defences were already better last week compared to the previous game against the All Blacks.
Scribes worry and remind Bakkies Botha to keep his dicipline on field and not to succumb to the “Red Mist” od ill-dicipline and the real threat of Yellow or Red Cards.
It also appears that both the formidable frame of young Pieter-Steph du Toit (lock) and that of Patrick Lambie will be in the run-on side for the Springboks on the weekend, with scribes writing up the virtues of Pieter-Steph du Toit almost non-stop, whilst others consider Lambie the perfect fir for the Scotland game.
International news is flowing like a river in flood today, seems I have been updating all day, today… but we like it that way, don’t we!
Reviews of the Fourie du Preez try, clearly shows that Jaque Fourie was ahead of Fourie du Preez when he kicked, did not retreat and the subsequent try, however well-worked, should not have been awarded. Another blemish on refereeing in 2013!
Looking ahead at this weekend’s clash against Scotland, it appears at this stage if Bakkies Botha might get a starting berth at lock and it looks likely that Patrick Lambie will get the nod at flyhalf.
Meanwhile Morné Steyn is responding well to treatment for his back spasm injury and it looks likely that he’ll also be ready for Sunday’s match.
Siyabonga “Scarra” Ntubeni is one of four uncapped players who will join three stalwarts of the Rugby World Cup winning squad of 2007, JP Pietersen, Jaque Fourie and Bakkies Botha, in 32-man Springbok squad for the forthcoming Castle Lager Outgoing Tour to Wales, Scotland and France.
It will be Botha and Fourie’s first involvement with the Springboks since the previous Rugby World Cup, in 2011 in New Zealand, while Pietersen is back in the squad for the first time this year.
Today is the third and final day of matches in the first round of the pool stage of the Heineken Cup. In what is arguably the pick of the day’s matches Glasgow Warriors travel to France to take on Toulon. These teams currently top the RabboDirect PRO12 and French Top 14 respectively. The game is due to kick off at 16.00 South African Time.
Ali Williams says he enjoyed being on the same side as South African Bakkies Botha for a change, having locked horns with the giant former Springbok on numerous occasions for club and country.
When Toulon’s superstars roll into town for this weekend’s Heineken Cup semi-final they will find in their way a Saracens side who are the only English club left in the last four of Europe’s elite club competition.
Toulon second-row Bakkies Botha will face no further sanction after being cited for a shoulder charge last month.
Toulon lock Bakkies Botha will be sidelined for up to two months as the Springbok international undergoes surgery on a fractured eye socket.
The latest news regarding Player Movements, the appointment of coaches and player movement miths set straight.
Some players are definately moving, some are extending their stay, some refute rumours of possible movement, whilst on the coaching side of things the John Mitchell saga carries on. The Crusaders also appoint 2 vital Assistant coaches for 2013.
You will find the news, item by item below:
As the Springboks prepare to travel to Europe for their end-of-year tour, coach Heyneke Meyerhas confirmed that Bakkies Botha will also be on stand-by for their tour along with Marco Wentzel.
Bakkies Botha has been placed on stand-by by Springbok management in case lock Eben Etzebeth loses his hearing into an alleged headbutt during South Africa’s 26-19 Rugby Championship loss to Australia, coach Heyneke Meyer said on Monday in Auckland.
Our sport is more enjoyable to watch than it was in the olden times when I was young, but there are a few things about the modern game I would rather be without. (I read this and posted it, purely because of Lee Grants obvious hatred of our boys, which he mentions on several occasions. What are your thoughts?)
The latest development in the rugby wheel is the evolution of the second row forward – the left lock or enforcer lock in particular. Traditionally a bulky, abrasive character, the enforcer lock does the donkey work in the tight-loose, bashes opposition forwards into submission and beefs up the set pieces.
Toulon are hoping to sign England veteran lock Simon Shaw as injury cover for South African Bakkies Botha in France’s Top 14.