South Africa Springboks Rugby News

Bakkies Botha leads World XV against SA




South African second row legend Bakkies Botha has been named to lead a Robbie Deans coached World XV against South Africa in an exhibition match in Cape Town on Saturday.

Botha won 85 caps for the Springboks before quitting last year at the age of 35 having formed a world-class, second-row partnership with Victor Matfield for many seasons.

Matfield will be on the opposite side at Newlands stadium when South Africa begin a five-match countdown to the 2015 Rugby World Cup in England, which begins September 18.

New Zealand-born World XV coach Robbie Deans said Botha was a natural choice to lead the world selection in the non-cap game.

“He was leading before being appointed the leader,” said the former Australia coach.

“Bakkies really enjoyed this week, mixing with those he has played against, and has been a big contributor in helping the group come together.

“He has been a huge presence in South African rugby for a long time so it will be a real occasion when he leads the World team out against his country.”

The World pack includes other former Test stars in prop Carl Hayman and lock Ali Williams from New Zealand and South African prop Gurthro Steenkamp.

English brothers Delon (full-back) and Steffon Armitage (flanker) are also in a starting line-up that includes eight players from European club champions Toulon.

World XV Team (15-1)

Delon Armitage (ENG); Lachlan Turner (AUS), JJ Engelbrecht (RSA), Maxime Mermoz (FRA), David Smith (SAM); Mike Harris (AUS), Luke Burgess (AUS); Luke Whitelock (NZL), Steffon Armitage (ENG), Jordan Taufua (NZL); Bakkies Botha (RSA, capt), Ali Williams (NZL); Carl Hayman (NZL), Craig Burden (RSA), Gurthro Steenkamp (RSA)

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