Bakkies is going nowhere

Tue, 11 Sep 2012 14:50

Bakkies Botha will not be joining the Springboks in New Zealand and is expected to play for his French club Toulon this weekend.

The 76-Test veteran was placed on standby by Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer following the suspension of Eben Etzebeth for his head-butt on Nathan Sharpe last week, but Botha will not be travelling to join the team after all.

Young Western Province tighthead prop Frans Malherbe was called up on Tuesday as cover for Jannie du Plessis and Pat Cilliers who are both battling injuries, and he will effectively take Etzebeth's place in the squad instead of Botha.

Although Botha was apparently keen to join up with the Boks Toulon coach Bernard Laporte confirmed that the big lock would not be making the trip to New Zealand this weekend.

He told French newspaper L'Equipe: "Bakkies will wear the Toulon jersey on Friday (against Montpellier) and not the South African one on Saturday."

With Juandre Kruger, Flip van der Merwe and Andries Bekker all with the squad already the Boks are fairly well covered at lock, especially as Willem Alberts has also played in the position at Super Rugby level.