Cape Town - Former Springbok lock Bakkies Botha believes new national coach Allister Coetzee needs to develop a core group of players heading into the next Rugby World Cup.
Botha, who played 85 Test for the Springboks, is one of the most decorated South African rugby players to ever play the game.
After 17 seasons as a professional player, he boasts winners’ medals from the Rugby World Cup (2007), Tri-Nations (now known as the Rugby Championship, 2004 and 2009), British and Irish Lions Tour (2009), Super Rugby (2007, 2009 and 2010), Currie Cup (2002, 2004 and 2009), Vodacom Cup (2001), French Top 14 (2014) and the European Rugby Champions Cup (2013, 2014 and 2015).
Since his official retirement last year, Botha has been a keen observer of the game.
He’s very optimistic about the potential of South African
rugby following the 2015 Rugby World, especially with the amount of players
coming through the ranks at Super Rugby level.
With Allister Coetzee announced as head coach on Tuesday, Botha believes the Springboks need selection continuity during their journey to the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan.
“South African rugby is very healthy at the moment. We have great players coming through the ranks in every position, especially lock and flank. The Lions and Stormers are also playing very well in Super Rugby at the moment,” Botha told MyPlayers.
“The new Springbok coach will have a very important role to play as he leads and prepares South Africa for the next World Cup.
“It’s going to be very important to keep the young players who played at the previous World Cup in the national squad over the next four seasons.
“At the 2003 Rugby World Cup, we didn’t do that well as we were eliminated in the quarter-finals, but many players remained in the national squad. As a group, we matured and gained the necessary experience to go on and win the 2007 Rugby World Cup in France.
“Experience and cohesion at Test level is vital.”
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