South Africa
Springboks great Botha retires
ESPN Staff
November 23, 2014
Springboks great Botha calls time on his international career © Getty Images

Springbok great Bakkies Botha has retired from international rugby, the South Africa Rugby Union (SARU) said on Saturday. SARU's announcement came after South Africa's 22-6 win over Italy in Padua, a match which second-row star Botha watched from the stands.

Botha, 35, made his debut for South Africa in 2002 against France and went on to win 85 caps, with the lock one of the key figures in the Springboks' 2007 World Cup success. His decision to call time on his international career came ahead of South Africa's tour finale against Wales in Cardiff next Saturday and less than a year out from the 2015 World Cup in England.

Botha has winners' medals from the Tri-Nations, series against the British and Irish Lions, Super Rugby, Currie Cup, Vodacom Cup as well as the European Cup and France's Top 14.

Botha, now with French club Toulon, is the seventh most-capped Springbok of all time, a three-time SA Rugby Player of the Year nominee (2003, '04 and '05) 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 in a SARU statement.


Live Sports

Communication error please reload the page.