Springboks sweating on Botha
September 6, 2011
Springboks lock Bakkies Botha could miss his side's tournament opener against Wales © Getty Images
South Africa could be forced to kick off the defence of their World Cup title without inspirational lock Bakkies Botha.
The 32-year-old second-row, who will join Top 14 out fit Toulon after the tournament, is a doubt for Sunday's Pool D clash with Wales in Wellington after a Springbok spokesman revealed that Botha's Achilles tendinosis had flared up.
South Africa No.8 Pierre Spies that the loss of Botha would be a blow but that in Danie Rossouw they have a more than capable deputy.
"Bakkies is a person you always miss - in his special way - but for us it's important to keep the routine of the team going,'' he said.
"I think we'll have Danie Rossouw coming in if Bakkies is not ready and Danie is also an exceptional player. But we'll wait and see how the week turns out and hopefully his foot can recover in time."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
"Some people have it from day one and Brian did." Tom Hamilton talks to the two players who made their Ireland debuts alongside Brian O'Driscoll back in June 1999
Despite having lost all four of their 2014 Six Nations games, the future of Italian rugby is bright with the team showing a new youthful core, argues Enrico Borra
"The loudest cheer at a rugby game, away from social media gimmicks, pumping music and pyrotechnics will always be for a try." Tom Hamilton on the Twickenham atmosphere
"The only thing that will stop this England team from becoming a great team is themselves. They need to ask themselves 'what can we be?'" The Phil Vickery column