Springboks

A DECADE LATER | Bakkies has no regrets head-butting All Black

Bakkies Botha (Getty Images)
Bakkies Botha (Getty Images)

Former Springbok lock Bakkies Botha says he has no regrets head-butting All Blacks scrumhalf Jimmy Cowan a decade ago.

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The incident took place during a Tri-Nations match at Eden Park in Auckland in 2010.

It was missed by Irish referee Alan Lewis and his match officials, but Botha was cited afterwards and suspended for nine weeks.

Botha expressed regret in the immediate aftermath but now, 10 years later, has seemingly had a change of heart.

In an exclusive interview with French rugby publication Midi Olympique, Botha was asked whether he had any regrets: "No, not a single second. And if I were to relive this situation, I would do the exact same thing!" he said.

READ | Etzebeth, Bakkies make list of 'hardest rugby players who ever lived'

Botha continued: "That day in Auckland I was battling with Cowan following a kick. I was faster than him. I had passed him and he pulled me by the shirt to slow me down. When I caught up with him ten metres away, I made him understand that I hadn't liked it... I hate injustice.

"It's not something I'm proud of. I kind of dropped the Springboks that day. And Jimmy Cowan won the mini-battle. But I would react in exactly the same way today... it's still the fault of the No 9. They talk too much and know better than anyone how to get you out of the game."

The All Blacks won the game at Eden Park 32-12, outscoring the Springboks by four tries to nil.

Botha, now 40, played 85 Tests for the Springboks between 2002 and 2014.

He represented the Bulls between 2002 and 2011, winning three Super Rugby titles with the Pretoria franchise before moving to France where he played for Toulon with whom he won three European Champions Cup titles and one Top 14 crown.

He retired from professional rugby in 2015.

WATCH the infamous incident in the video clip below:

- Compiled by Sport24 staff

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