GREAT DEBATE | Eben v Bakkies … who would you pick?

Herman Mostert once more makes a case for Etzebeth to start out, whereas Lloyd Burnard backs Botha.

However what do YOU assume? Etzebeth or Botha? Tell us your ideas by mailing us on or by tweeting us at @sport24information

CASE FOR: Eben Etzebeth 

Eben Etzebeth and Bakkies Botha will each go down as arguably two of the toughest males to ever play for the Springboks.

Each are powerful, uncompromising gamers who’ve instilled worry into the eyes or many an opponent.

The Boks have been actually blessed to have these two giants manning their engine room in back-to-back eras.

Etzebeth’s physicality is true up there along with his predecessor Botha, however for me the previous is a extra cellular and skilful participant.

He’s additionally extra athletically gifted than Botha and provides a little bit further throughout the park.

Etzebeth is a greater lineout organiser – Bakkies performed alongside lineout genius Victor Matfield – and the person from Cape City is equally adept at Botha in poaching opposition lineout balls.

Each have been fiery characters on the sector, however Etzebeth is extra more likely to maintain his cool when issues get sizzling within the engine room.

Botha had a stellar profession – he gained all the things noteworthy – however his legacy is considerably tarnished by disciplinary indiscretions.  

Too usually, the previous Bulls hard-man would get himself concerned in off-the-ball scuffling and he had an unlucky tendency of head-butting opponents – simply ask former All Blacks scrumhalf Jimmy Cowan and Springbok fullback Gio Aplo… there was additionally an eye-gouging allegation that generated the fallacious consideration.

Do not get me fallacious, rugby wants laborious grafters like these and Botha will go down as probably the greatest in historical past, however I might again a considerably calmer Etzebeth within the strain cooker of an essential Check.

Etzebeth might not have gained Tremendous Rugby thrice like Botha and has solely began out at French glamour membership Toulon, however he already boasts the identical variety of Exams (85) as Botha and at solely 28 he has the potential to rival Matfield’s most-capped Springbok tally of 127.

CASE FOR: Bakkies Botha 

Earlier than even inspecting Botha’s on-field potential and what made him one of many nice Springboks, his accolades inform their very own story. 

He was gained all the things there’s to win: A Rugby World Cup (2007), the Rugby Championship (2004, 2009), Tremendous Rugby (2007, 2009, 2019), the Currie Cup (2002, 2004, 2006, 2009), the Vodacom Cup (2001) and, after becoming a member of Toulon to see out his profession, Botha gained Europe’s Champions Cup thrice (2013, 2014, 2015). 

He was additionally a part of the 2009 Springbok aspect that beat the British & Irish Lions. 

All of it combines to make him one of the vital adorned gamers within the historical past of the sport. 

Botha performed 85 Check matches between 2002 and 2014 and, together with Victor Matfield, solid simply probably the most revered and feared lock pairings in world rugby on the time. Even now, Botha/Matfield is taken into account one of many nice duos within the historical past of the sport. 

“Generally I really feel we all know one another higher than we all know our wives,” Botha famously as soon as mentioned. 

Identified for his immense physicality, Botha was usually labelled as a participant who crossed the strains of the legislation on too many events. When he was at his very best, although, Botha channelled that aggression completely.

Large on defence, naturally sturdy – bodily and technically – on the breakdown and a jumper with a knack for stealing opposition ball, Botha was South Africa’s enforcer.

He was a soldier and a participant who earned the respect of his team-mates and opponents alike as a result of he was keen to go to some darkish locations, with seemingly no regard for his physique, to get the job executed.

That sort of management can’t be measured, and plenty of who performed with Botha will let you know how a lot confidence and fearlessness his mere presence injected into the aspect.

He was a monster, and if you happen to aren’t going to choose him in your aspect, then good luck giving him the information!

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