Scotland v South Africa
Bakkies Botha: Scotland are a 'phenomenal side'
November 15, 2013
Bakkies Botha has been tearing up trees for Toulon © Getty Images
Bakkies Botha is relishing the chance to run out for the Springboks again but is wary of the "phenomenal" Scotland side ahead of Sunday's Test.
Botha, who currently plays for Toulon in France, last ran out for the Boks in the 2011 World Cup but will win his 78th cap at Murrayfield. South Africa are currently second in the IRB rankings and dispatched Wales 24-15 last weekend. But Botha is adamant his team must be at their best if they are to dispatch Scotland.
"The Scottish team ended third in the Six Nations last year and they are a phenomenal side," Botha said. "Now recently a lot of Scottish players are playing in the French league as well, especially in the lock position like Richie Gray, so that makes them a good side as well.
"They showed against the Japanese side that they are a team that plays for 85 minutes."
Botha was part of the Springboks side who lost against Scotland in 2010 and he knows the pitfalls of heading into a match overly confident:
"I remember the Test match when I was last involved with the Springboks, the Scottish are very physical at the breakdowns and definitely, when their tails are up, it's a difficult side to keep with on the day.
"We are focusing on what we can improve as a team, taking all the positives out of Wales and working hard on the negatives. It doesn't matter which Test match it is, it's always a tough one and it's not going to be any easier this weekend playing against the Scottish team."
Botha's international career looked to be over but the 34-year-old always retained hope of adding further chapters to his illustrious Springboks career. He added: "I'm more than happy about it than surprised. The day when I left for France two years ago I always said to myself every morning when I get up and go to the gym in Toulon, I still want to play in the green and gold.
"The opportunity came around and I was very happy when Heyneke phoned me. I am just taking it week to week and I'm very happy to be part of this amazing squad after two years."
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