BJ eyes Bok blazer

With CJ van der Linde having broken his leg during a Cheetahs practice session, Sharks tighthead BJ Botha is closer than ever to Springbok selection.

The 26-year-old Botha has always been in the Bok frame, but may finally have done enough this season to crack the nod.

“It’s been my dream to play for South Africa ever since I was a little boy, and my feeling is that if I keep performing, then there’s no way that they can keep me out of the side. Especially if I can dominate in the Super 14, then I think I’ve got a very good chance, and that’s definitely one of my goals for this year,” he said.

Botha admits that the World Cup in France has been his driving force.

“I’m really looking ahead to 2007. I’d love to be involved in the World Cup and if I don’t realise my ambition of becoming a Springbok this year, or at least being in the squad, then next year is fine by me. So this year is a big year for me to start pushing and make it into that squad.”

Botha played a vital role for the Sharks pack last weekend, as they demolised the Reds up front.

“Brendon is one of those special players,” Shark coach Dick Muir told the Daily News. “The entire pack performed brilliantly, but yes, it’s great to have a guy like BJ in our team and I think he has a bright future in the game.”

“The forwards have worked incredibly hard all year. They showed signs of the character in this team. The entire pack was great.”