Botha ready for Boks

Mouritz Botha was born 200 miles north of Durban, but the England lock isn't expecting friendly homecoming this weekend. [more]

Botha ready for Boks

Mouritz Botha was born 200 miles north of Durban, but the England lock isn’t expecting friendly homecoming this weekend.

The Saracens player knows all about the conditions his England team mates will have to endure, as well as the psyche of the Springboks, and is expecting a major physical challenge when the first of three tests kicks-off in Durban on Saturday.

“It is going to be by far the biggest challenge we have faced as a group. We will have to be ready,” said Botha in the wake of England’s 57-26 warm-up victory over the Barbarians.

“For me, it is quite a surreal feeling but I am looking forward to getting out there. In a way I feel like I am representing two countries, so the best way to do that is to play well.

“I am not looking to prove a point at all. I just want to make people that know me proud because of the way I perform.”

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New Springbok coach Heineke Meyer will be looking for his forwards to impose themselves physically on England over the course of the series and Botha’s clubmate John Smit suggested after the Baa-Baas match that England might be drawn into “warfare” over the course of their tour.

“Those guys are going to be fired up, but that isn’t any different to a lot of countries. There are a lot of men with too much testosterone getting ready to smash each other up,” said Botha.

“That’s what I love – you want to go out there and have a physical confrontation. After that you feel good and shake your opponent’s hand. It gets left on the field and everybody is satisfied.”
 

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