Springbok hardman Bakkies Botha would welcome the inclusion of veteran lock and fellow no-nonsense taker Johan Ackerman in the Springbok squad this year.
“Johan is still on top of his game. It would definitely be great to have another enforcer in the Bok side, but that’s up to Jake and the selectors. After playing against him last weekend I think he still has plenty to offer,” Botha told keo.co.za.
“To have him around would be great and he brings so much experience to the table. And he has played at that level before. Bringing a guy like him at his age into the Bok setup should be viewed as a positive, not a negative,” said Botha.
Botha and Ackermann had an interesting tussle in last week’s game between the Bulls and Sharks at Loftus Versfeld. “I think it went well for me,” said Botha. “It is a challenge to play someone like Johan, but I’m always keen for a challenge.”
Botha prefers not to talk and rather do his “talking” on the field. His performance for the Bulls especially in the tight was colossal and he scored a brace of tries – one of which was a fine individual effort – and was named man of the match.
But he had praise for his opposite number. “Johan plays it hard and physical. It doesn’t matter what age you are, if you are playing goood rugby you should be recognised.”
That try though was a source of great enjoyment for the towering lock. “It’s great to be able to show that us locks also have some pace and skill. I relly enjoyed that try,” he laughed.
By Andrew Hollely