Bakkies up for selection

2011-10-04 07:08

Springbok lock Bakkies Botha says he is 100% fit and ready to take on the Australian forwards during Sunday’s World Cup quarterfinal in Wellington.

Springbok coach Peter de Villiers said earlier in the week they were not willing to risk Botha, who had a hamstring niggle, ahead of a possible semifinal and final, and he would only be considered if he was ready.

“The medical side put a lot of hours in, but where I’m sitting now I’m feeling 100%,” Botha said today.

“I must just hit the ground running now and get into it and it is nice weather to train in for old and big guys like me.

“I am feeling good and I would like to get onto the pitch, but at the end of the day the selection depends on the coach.”

Botha injured his Achilles tendon prior to the South Africa’s first match of the tournament against Wales.

He featured against Fiji and Namibia in the pool stages but was again sidelined for South Africa’s bruising battle against Samoa last week.

The 32-year-old lock, known for his physical approach to the game, said he was annoyed that he had missed two of the more intense battles in which his team had been involved.

“You don’t know how frustrating it is missing the physical battles – Wales and Samoa,” Botha said.

“When I was sitting in the stands I just wanted to take off my number one jacket and get stuck into it.”

Botha, like most of the Springbok stalwarts in the squad, could represent their country for the last time on Sunday, but he said the emotions would have no influence on their performances.

“A handful of the guys have been around the block for a while now,” he said.

“I think the big secret for us is to just focus on what we must do for this weekend, when you pull that green-and-gold jersey on and just give it your all.

“It doesn’t matter where you are, you must just focus on your job and I don’t think we will be holding back one inch.”

Despite the Wallabies possessing a backline among the most dangerous in the tournament, Botha insisted the result would be determined up front.

“We will have to arrive this weekend 100% prepared,” he said, “because we know Australia will definitely bring it.”

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