Bakkies packing up at end of season

Toulon - Toulon's South African lock Bakkies Botha will hang up his boots at the end of the season, he announced on Tuesday.

Botha, 35, had been mooted as a possible "joker" for Toulon during the World Cup, but he told a press conference: "We did discuss the possibility of my staying on until the end of the World Cup but I've decided to pack up once and for all at the end of the season.

"That way I will finish my career in the Top 14, and then I'm going home."

Botha has an impressive record of success, including three Currie Cup victories with Blue Bulls, three Super Rugby titles with Bulls, two Tri-Nations and the World Cup in 2007 with South Africa as well as last year's Top 14 and European Cup with Toulon.

But his often confrontational style of play has made him a controversial figure and he famously picked up a four-week suspension in 2010 after a clash with a Stormers player in his first match as captain of the Bulls.

Two months later, in the first Tri-Nations Test of against New Zealand, he was suspended for nine weeks for head-butting the All Blacks' Jimmy Cowan.

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