The Rugby Championship
Meyer pondering Botha recall
ESPN Staff
August 7, 2012
Bakkies Botha poses at Toulon's Stade Felix Mayol, Toulon press conference, Stade Felix Mayol, Toulon, France, July 7, 2011
Bakkies Botha could be in the Springboks mix © Getty Images
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Toulon second-row Bakkies Botha may be in line for a stunning return to the international scene with the Springboks sweating over the fitness of Eben Etzebeth.

Etzebeth has damaged a hip cartilage and is waiting on the prognosis from a specialist in Johannesburg. The Boks are unsure how long Etzebeth will be out of action for and coach Heyneke Meyer has revealed that Botha could be called upon if the Stormers lock fails to recover in time for their opener against Argentina on August 18.

Botha played in Toulon last term where he lined up alongside former England lock Simon Shaw and ex-Sale second-row Dean Schofield and with his last game for the Boks back in the 2011 World Cup, Botha is back in the selection mix.

"I have always rated Bakkies, and suddenly with all the injuries we have, we just can't go in with an under-21 team when we are playing against the best teams in the world," said Meyer. "Bakkies has been playing well. I have been looking at every single overseas player, and I have always said that if there is a 50/50 call, I would go with the guy based in South Africa.

"But if Eben is injured, suddenlty there are not a lot of four locks around, and I may have to make some kind of plan. I will definitely then look at Bakkies as an option. Franco van der Merwe was impressive when he trained with us there, and even though he is essentially a five lock, he can play four as well.

"Another player I would have considered is Pieter-Steph du Toit of the Sharks and the South Africa Under-20 team, but he is injured at the moment."

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