Super Rugby

Arno Botha: Don't compare Jake's Bulls side with previous ones

Arno Botha is looking forward to the competition for place at the Bulls
Arno Botha is looking forward to the competition for place at the Bulls
Lee Warren
  • Jake White's era at the Bulls should be considered in isolation and not be ripe with comparisons, believes Arno Botha.
  • The star flanker says there'll be no fancy revelations about the team's game-plan, merely that it will be "good rugby".
  • Botha is also not focused on national selection despite being included in the Springbok Showdown draft.

Arno Botha believes there's no reason for the local rugby fraternity to compare the Jake White era to other periods at Loftus.

Excitement abounds at the Bulls following the appointment of the former World Cup-winning Springbok coach as their director of rugby as well as an eye-catching recruitment strategy that has mixed proven pedigree with upcoming talent.

Predictably, those expectations have a success-starved supporters base wondering what White and his staff will do differently to break a curse of underachievement.

"Who said things are going to be different? What's going to change? No, nothing has changed. Everything is exactly the same," Botha said with a hearty laugh.

"That's all I have for you. What I will say is that working under Jake has been good. He's got a good mentality."

The 28-year-old flanker, one of White's more prominent signings after a career revival in Ireland with Munster, understandably argues that the franchise starts on a blank page again.

While Botha is considered locally-bred prodigal son - he hails from Modimolle and played the first six years of his professional career at Loftus - he's missed out on much of the Bulls' recent regime changes.

13 incoming players and 18 departees also suggests a team that will start building on a new identity.

"I haven’t played here in a while‚ so I don’t know how the Bulls have played for the last three years," said Botha.

"For me, everything is new in any case since I've returned. I'm just pretty sure we're going to play good rugby."

The two-cap Springbok admits he's heartened by his inclusion in the 93-man draft for the Springbok Showdown next week but thoughts of pulling a Green-and-Gold jersey again are firmly in the back of the mind.

"When I arrived, I told coach Russell Winter I just want to play again. My focus really is on the now. I'm not wondering about October, November, December and January. What will I do today," said Botha.

"If I do that, other things will fall in place. I obviously want to play for the Springboks again but for me it's about maintaining personal standards."

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