Bakkies calls it a day

Lesotho Times - - Sport -

LONDON — Spring­bok lock and Rugby World Cup win­ner Bakkies Botha (pic­tured) has an­nounced his re­tire­ment from in­ter­na­tional rugby.

Botha made his Test de­but on Novem­ber 9, 2002 against France in Mar­seille. 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 TriNa­tions, Bri­tish & Ir­ish Lions Se­ries, Su­per Rugby, 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, 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).

“The news of my re­tire­ment will prob­a­bly be de­scribed as sud­den and un­ex­pected, but it is a decision that I’ve been mulling over since 2011,” said Botha. Botha said that when he limped off the field with an Achilles in­jury dur­ing the Rugby World Cup in 2011, he felt he had not left the game on his own terms. “I wanted to leave the jersey be­hind know­ing I hon­oured the men who wore it be­fore me, as well as the peo­ple who had sup­ported me through­out my ca­reer.

— Sapa

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