News24

Booysen bowing out?

2001-09-25 23:08

Johannesburg - Falcons replacement flank and former captain Jaco Booysen might quit at the end of the season.

Coach Phil Pretorius this season used the 34-year-old Booysen with great success as an impact player, and Booysen says he does not mind not being in the starting lineup.

"I enjoy coming on later in a match and I'm happy to contribute in this manner," Booysen said. He doesn't shy away from contact and makes a huge contribution as an impact player.

Although he has brought down a number of players when he comes on in the second half with "fresh legs" û like the spectacular tackle that felled Pumas wing Jacques Juries in Witbank on Sunday û he prefers attacking the advantage line.

"Look, you have to tackle, there's no escaping it. But I prefer to run into the spaces, because that allows the team to go forward. Isn't that what the game is about?"

He has often thought about the right time to retire. "With the Falcons having such a successful season, I may be able to retire on a high."

In March doctors advised him to seriously reconsider his rugby career after a severe neck injury, but he fought back and is still playing with as much aggression as before.

"IÆve always been positive about recovering from injuries and this time was no different," Booysen said.

Apart from a brief stint with the then Northern Transvaal, Booysen played most of his rugby on the East Rand since he made his debut for Eastern Transvaal in 1987. Apart from the 132 matches he played for the Falcons (including those for Eastern Transvaal) he represented the South African Rhinos 25 times in rugby league.