Rugby World Cup 2011
Springboks sweating on Botha
ESPNscrum Staff
September 6, 2011
South Africa;s Bakkies Botha takes on Nathan Hines, Scotland v South Africa, Murrayfield, Edinburgh, Scotland, November 20, 2010
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.

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