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Botha calls for Etzebeth to be managed carefully

Eben Etzebeth braces for impact with Jannie du Plessis

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Article Published: Monday 14 January 2013|

Former Springbok lock Bakkies Botha has called on rugby bosses in South Africa to manage young lock Eben Etzebeth's career carefully.

Twenty-one-year-old Etzebeth started in 17 Super Rugby matches for the Stormers last season and also played in 11 out of 12 Test matches for the Springboks.

Etzebeth was also involved in Western Province's Currie Cup campaign which they eventually went on to win 25-18 by beating the Sharks in the final.

"I think they have to manage a guy like Eben really well," Botha told Rapport in France.

"The South African season has become very long with the Super-series and Test rugby overlapping."

"That's the biggest secret to get the best out if him. But he was phenomenal in 2012. I'm really pleased for him that he's playing such good rugby," said 76 Test cap Botha.

The South African Rugby Players Association (SARPA) and the provincial Rugby unions have an agreement that the maximum allowed number of matches for players is 32 in a season.

However even though Etzebeth's 27 matches is five below the permitted 32 SARPA CEO Piet Heymans says the agreement needs to be revisited as some players are playing too much rugby.

"That figure was stipulated years ago and clearly needs to be reviewed," Heymans told Sport24.

"If you take into consideration the intensity of modern day rugby and the limited amount of rest periods allowed for top players, then clearly 32 is too much."

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