Springbok hardman challenges Wallabies - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Springbok hardman challenges Wallabies

By Darren Walton 07/08/2009 03:21:54 PM Comments (0)

Springboks aggressor Bakkies Botha has vowed to maintain the rage as the Wallabies brace themselves for a brutal Tri Nations Test in Cape Town on Saturday.

Botha last month copped a two-week suspension for his now infamous "dangerous charge" into a ruck which dislocated the shoulder of British and Irish Lions prop Adam Jones.

The Wales tighthead will be sidelined for six months but Botha has no regrets and insists he won't be softening his hardman image.

"I'm loving carrying that label - it's like Victor Matfield carrying the lineout label. That's why we're such a formidable combination," Botha said as he and Matfield set themselves for a world-record 50th Test together in South Africa's second row.

"It's what I've done for the last nine years. I'm not going to change and look for grubbers and kicks through the backline and chase them. That's not my job, okay.

"I'm just going to hit the rucks and do it 100 per cent. That's the game I love."

Wallabies centre Berrick Barnes wasn't surprised to hear Botha talking tough and said the Australians were ready.

"We know what's coming. It was pretty evident in their first two Tests that that's where they're going to come at us - from up front obviously," he said.

"But we've prepared well."

Botha has the full support of his South African team-mates, who wore "Justice 4 Bakkies" armbands during the third Lions Test in protest over his suspension for taking out Jones. The provocative reaction prompted the International Rugby Board to charge the offending Springboks.

Botha, who sais that rival Australian lock Nathan Sharpe played exactly the same confronting way as he does, at least sees the lighter side of his regular run-ins with the game's officials, amusing journalists with tales about his troubles.

"It's just funny enough when we train some weeks and then some guys will greet me after training and the guys will ask me, 'Who's that?' and I will say 'That's the citing commissioner of the Sharks'," he said.

"So I quite know them very well - by name - but, at the end of the day, I just want to go out onto the pitch and do my best."

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