Full name Hendrik Egnatius Botha
Born February 27, 1958, Breyten
Current age 57 years 32 days
Major teams World XV, South Africa
Height 5 ft 11 in
Weight 161 lb
|Test debut||South Africa v South America at Johannesburg, Apr 26, 1980 match details|
|Last Test||England v South Africa at Twickenham, Nov 14, 1992 match details|
|Test Statsguru||Main menu | Career summary | Match list | Most points | Most tries | Tournament list|
One of the all-time greats of South African rugby, Naas Botha won 28 caps for the Springboks during a 12-year international career that spanned from 1980 to 1992.
The inspirational fly-half was best known for his deadly boot - whether he was kicking from hand, place-kicking or slotting drop goals. His kicking prowess earned him the nickname "Nasty Booter" from the British press during the British & Irish Lions' tour of South Africa in 1980 and Springboks legend Danie Craven once said, "Give me Naas, and I'll conquer the world!"
Botha made his Springboks bow as a 22-year-old against South America at Wanderers in Johannesburg and would have gone on to earn a lot more than his 28 caps had his international career not coincided with South Africa's sporting isolation.
He was also part of the controversial tour to New Zealand in 1981 that was blighted by demonstrations against South Africa's apartheid regime. Botha's career lasted long enough for him to see South Africa return to the international stage. He faced Rugby World Cup holders Australia and New Zealand in 1992 before bring the curtain down in his international career against England at Twickenham.
Botha was the highest points scorer in South African rugby history with 312 points until his mark was surpassed by Percy Montgomery in 2004.
He made his provincial debut with Northern Transvaal in 1978 and did not hang up his boots for the last time until 1995. During this period they dominated South African rugby and won the Currie Cup nine times (sharing it twice with Western Province in 1979 and 1989). He was also captain of the province a record 128 times and scored a record 2,511 points.
Botha also had a trial with the American football team the Dallas Cowboys in 1983 and during his stay in the United States he also played for the Dallas Harlequins rugby club - leading them to the 1984 National Club Championship. He also played six seasons with Rovigo in Italy between 1987 and 1992 combing his commitments with Northern Transvaal.
Botha, who is married to former springbok athlete Karen Kruger, currently works for South African broadcaster SuperSport as an analyst.