In the Hotseat - Bakkies Botha from Taupo
September 29, 2011
Every week we give readers of BOKzine the opportunity to ask questions of South African rugby personalities. Simply sign up for our weekly fan newsletter, BOKzine, by clicking here!

This week Bakkies Botha took some time off and answered your questions posted to him through Bokzine. Find out who he regards as his toughest opponent and big scores in Tests.

Your Question: Good to see you back in the green and gold, big man! What's the story behind your nickname? Would love to see you playing over here for Ulster/Bokke! Keep the faith. - Phil Allen

Answer: Thanks Phil. I'm actually John Philip, but from a young age people called me Bakkies and it stuck, I guess. Don't know if Toulon is headed your way, but I might be up there in the next year or so?

Your Question: How does it feel to win with such a big score on your birthday? - Waleed

Answer: It would've been even better if I could score a try, Waleed. Only kidding, for us it's about getting the job done and I'm just happy to be part of it.

Your Question: So upset that u leaving our shores, maybe ill move to France to carry on watching u play, inspiring. Besides yourself, in the bok squad which 3 players would u have your back in a fight ??? - Xerxes

Answer: Hi Xerxes, actually we're a bunch of very friendly guys, we don't like fighting. But ja, if it comes down to it, guys like Danie Rossouw and Willem Alberts are big units who I'd rather have on my side than against me. Maybe they even feel the same about me...hehehehe!

Your Question: Hi Bakkies. I just want to wish the Bokke the best of luck. I know we will win this Tri Nations clash to bring home the cup once more. More than any team I hope you guys teach the All Blacks a lesson when we face them. Not looking too far ahead I know but these okes need to be ouplyed & brought back down to earth by the reigning world champs. Sorry about the injury, sure you'll be back at it soon enough. You have taken alot of slack for your aggressivness. Do you feel that this reputation unfairly follows you around? Do you think that emotion overtakes you like in the game where you gave Jimmy Cowan a head butt? - Greg van Niekerk

Answer: Thanks Greg. It's still a long way to go, but we're confident. About my reputation - I do feel it's unfair and sometimes people don't understand why I react the way I sometimes do, but it's something I've been working very hard at as I don't want to let my team mates down like I did in Auckland last year.

Your Question: Has the Boks qualified for the next round? - Zamuxolo Mdleleni

Answer: We need one point against Samoa to go through, Zamuxolo, so by the time you read this, we'd know. We're going for the win, though, and not only a bonus point.

Your Question: Hi Bakkies, in your opinion who is the toughest player you have come up against/ your biggest nemesis? All the best for your injury, Your fantastic to watch and you just know when you play well so does the team! Please never retire!!!! - Chris

Answer: That guy is not born yet Chris (hehe), but I'm glad I've been on the same side as Victor and Danie for most of my career, because they are seriously good locks!

Your Question: Hi Bakkies,Hoop julle geniet almal die wereld beker vreeslik baie! Hoe lyk it met jou besering? Dink jy jy sal reg wees vir die finals? Hoe het jy die naam Bakkies gekry? Geniet elke dag en God met julle almal! - Jacques Nel

Answer: Ek voel beter, dankie Jacques. Ek en die Bokke se mediese span werk hard om my so gou as moontlik terig op die veld te kry. Oor jou tweede vraag - sien my antwoord bo aan Phil.

(Jacques asked Bakkies about his injury and he answered that he is working very hard with the Boks' medical team to be back on the field as soon as possible.)

Your Question: Thank you for your great contribution to our rugby. YOU made me a rugby fan. I hope one day to shake your hand. Will your ongoing injury have an impact on your career in France? - Thelma Veldtman

Answer: Thanks Thelma. Hopefully I'll be ready when I get to France. I'm confident!

Your Question: Hi Bakkies... Goed om jou weer te sien speel, maar is jy regtig heeltemal oor jou besering. Wil nie he jy moet seerder kry nie. Se my, jou bloedbroer Matfield. Tree hy af of gaan speel hy oorsee speel. Baie mense stry en ek glo hy tree af. Ons gaan julle vreeslik mis. Staan agter jou. - Joyce Sammons

Answer: My besering word goed bestuur Thelma, ons het regtig 'n baie goeie mediese span hier in Nieu-Seeland. Victor tree uit, hy is klaar met rugby. Hy is nou al lekker oud (hehe) en was darem al in Frankryk, so dis nou my beurt. (Joyce also asked about his injuries and if Victor is retiring, to which Bakkies replied that the Boks' medical team is looking after him properly and that Victor is indeed retiring from all rugby at the end of the RWC.)

Your Question: Hi Bakkies Botha Your a hero and a warrior for South Africa! Why are we seeing less of the ruthless and aggressive attitude from you now? It was unfair that you were yellowed for the 2010 headbutt, when cowan (coward) held you back. How do you feel about him now? What drives you to be the fearsome lock? Hows your confidence taking on AB's possibly in the RWC semi? - Enoch

Answer: Enoch, I'm still as aggressive and ruthless as ever, but I'm working hard at not doing silly things on the field any more. Cowan - he's a good player! We'll be ready for the All Blacks if our paths cross here in NZ. Thanks for the support, my man!

Your Question: Hello Bakkies, nice to see you in the squad, you can surely help the team with your experience and strenght. As the pool matches are important to get momentum and teamwork. I would like to know what is the main focus of the team training now, does a RWC preparation feel any different? Good luck, supporters around the world are proud of you! Rm 12: 9-21 – Louis (Paris, France)

Answer: Bon jour Louis! We're taking this tournament game by game and are trying to build up steam in the process. It's a long tournament and we're halfway through already!

Your Question: Not a question, just a comment. Keep doing exactly what you do; don't listen to those that complain. Remember that the fans stay quiet while those that don't like the way you play, do all the talking. You have tons of fans and support and will be sorely missed when you retire from S.A rugby. You remain a good role model to our sons. - cheryl

Answer: Thanks so much Cheryl, it's always nice to get support like this.

Your Question: I know we have to stick to basic rugby & game plan, but why are we not seeing you big running of the ball, you have the speed & power to take us over the advantage line, can we see that in the next game pls. - bob hartlief

Answer: Hey Bob, my primary job is to jump in the lineouts, scrum clean rucks and tackle. If I do get the opportunity to run with the ball, I like to go as far and as fast as possible, but guys like Pierre and Schalla usually go further and faster!

Your Question: Hi Bakkies, Awesome so far. The big question on everyone's lips is do we finish top and meet Aus, or do we see how the other pool matches pan out and see what to do against Samoa? - Gregory Hoedemaker

Answer: That's an easy one Gregory - we keep on winning. No team has ever won the World Cup after dropping just one game during the tournament.

Your Question: Just want to say that I am a big fan of yours and want to know if you are enjoying being part of our wonderful Boks team in NZ? I look forwards to your cheeky smile after those 'confrontations'! - Anna Forbes

Answer: Anna, this is really the best times of our lives, we have a great squad and it's very lekker to be in NZ.

Your Question: Hi Bakkies. It is nice to see that you are back in the team after the injury lay off. My question for you: How do you bring your role as "enforcer" in the Bok team together with Christianity? - James

Answer: James, I was given a talent by God and I'm using it. Sometimes I use it too well, but like I've said before, it's something I'm working on. I would be wasting my talents if I didn't give 100% in every game I play.

Your Question: Hi Bakkies - hope you guys are well that side ! I've got a request, not a question. When/if we play Australia in the Q's, PLEASE PLEASE get to Quad Cooper while he still has the all - sort hom uit in die binne gevegte ASB !!!!! I hope you can get to him in time cause he is such a banggat - always get rid of the ball before contact. STERKTE en bring die beker terug !!!! - Albert Biljon

Answer: Albert, Quade's footwork is quite fast, but we're not concentrating on only one player, as the other 14 would then run us ragged.

Your Question: Firstly I would like to say that you guys are champions and you guys have played excellent rugby to this point, and happy birthday for yesterday. Are you still going to play for Toulon for the 2011/2012 season on a 3 year deal? - Natasha

Answer: Yes Natasha, I'm still going to Toulon and looking forward to it. Thanks for the birthday wishes.

Your Question: Bakkies i just want to know why is it so difficult for our guys not to make contact with the ball in front of them and not shifted to the hand away from the defender? - Cavin Cornelissen

Answer: Sometimes things just happen too fast Cavin, but it's mostly better to carry the ball in the arm you're not making contact with.

Your Question: Hey Bakkies good to see you in action again and all the best for the rest of RWC!!! Can you please ...uummmmm "Teach"(ENFORCE!) Quade Cooper a lesson I think he is very arrogant and im sure NZ and Richie would appreciate it too!...besides he is useless when that type of pressure is on him...Thanks!! - Craig Oostingh

Answer: Hey Craig, I've answered this one a bit higher up (see Albert's question). I wouldn't call Quade useless though! ;-)

Your Question: Hi Bakkies, When you Springboks win a third RWC, will you men Honour our Heavenly Father in some way, either individually or as a Team? God bless you men and your campaign! - Ian Higley

Answer: We will Ian. It's a personal thing, but I know most of the players in the squad will do that.

Your Question: Hi Bakkies Are you OK after the Namibia game? I recently won a ball signed by the Springboks, but it got stolen in the post. Trying to get the company that ran the comp to get another one. They said it's difficult to do this. Any idea who I could speak to make this happen? I was so looking forward to showing this prized possession off to my mates. - Greg van Niekerk

Answer: Sorry Greg, I can't help you with that one, it would be best to get it from the company that ran the competition.

Your Question: Bakkies, your presence on the field fills me with confidence and I always enjoy the massive hits you put in. My friends and I believe the ultimate celebrity boxing match would be between you and Brad Thorn. What would your opinion be on the outcome of such a match-up? I know who my money will be on... Bakkies all the way!! - Roger Greyling

Answer: That wouldn't be a fair fight Roger - Brad's much older than me! Hehehehe. And like I said, we're a friendly bunch, we don't like fighting.

Your Question: Bakkies, wie was jou grootste Springbok slot ikoon, en wie sien jy as jou mees gedigte teëstander? - Wilhelm

Answer: Wilhelm, ek het baie helde deur die jare gehad – manne soos Frik du Preez, Adolf Malan, Kobus Wiese en Mark Andrews. My taaiste teenstander is nog nie gebore nie ou maat!

Your Question: Hi Big Man, im a huge fan. Doesnt it upset u that refs and citing commisioner are one eyed on us Boks ? I mean some of the things uve been cited for are ridiculous, but it shows your strentgh of character the way uve come back and still played hard ! What is your favourite drink ? Please Bakkies, if your achillees is not 100% skip Samoa we need u for Aussie and hopefully NZ ! - Lesley

Answer: Lesley, I'm sure you'd understand that I can't really comment on referees and citing officials on a public forum, but we're happy with the way things have been going thus far at RWC and know that discipline on our side will make it easier for the officials to leave us alone. My favourite drink is anything that goes down well with braaivleis!

Your Question: Hallo Bakkies, you and Victor are either leaving or retyre after the RWC. Who do you think should be the next generation of locks in South Africa? - Dirk Geldenhuys

Answer: We have some great locks coming through Dirk, but I'm still available for the Boks even though I'm going to Toulon. So is Danie Rossouw, and then we have Andries Bekker, Flip van der Merwe and Gerhard Mostert, just to name a few.

Your Question: What position did u play at high school, and have u ever been scared on the rugby field? Who are your closest friends in the bok squad? - Paul

Answer: I was a loose forward at high school Paul and no, I've never been scared on the field. I'm friends with everyone, but the ones who like to talk about farming and hunting probably "understand" me better. ;-)

Your Question: Hi Bakkies , you are one of the toughest guys in rugby , my opinion anyway. What I wanna know is you obviously discuss your role in the team and when you do , do words like intimidate come up also who do you think will be the perfect replacement for the intimidator Ps. That's what me and my friends call you. - Mike

Answer: It's part of my job description to play with controlled aggression and ensure we win the collissions. I'm also still available for the Boks, even though I'm going to Toulon.

Your Question: Bakkies ou maat bly jy is nou besering vry en dat jou wereld beker jou beste sal wees, jy het nog baie skop in jou, sterkte ou maat die jagveld wag. Hoe ervaar jy die ander slotte in die wereld beker,en hoe sien jy ons in die uitklop rondtes! Jy is n yster en ons luister!!! - Eugene

Answer: Hi Eugene, daar is baie goeie slotte by die WB, maar ek glo ons het die bestes. Kom ons praat oor die uitkloprondes wanneer ons daar is.

(Eugene asked about the quality of the locks at RWC and how the Boks approach the playoffs, to which Bakkies replied there are some very good locks here in NZ, but he believes we have the best ones. Let's talk about the playoffs when we get there.)

Your Question: Hi Bakkies eerste veels geluk op jou verjaarsdag. Wat is die gevoel in die kamp, is ons op koers om die beker te verdedig,ek kry die gevoel som ouens is oorgretig en maak foute, STERKTE. - Neville

Answer: Baie dankie Neville. Ja, ons voel ons is nog op koers en hoewel daar foute insluip, weet ons wat ons te doen staan om te wen. (Neville asked if the Boks are still on course to defend the World Cup and Bakkies said they are, even though they are still making small mistakes, they know what is needed to retain the title.)

Your Question: you have a certain reputation on the pitch. do the opposition players try intimidate you? does it work? - franco

Answer: Hi Franco. Yes, some of them do and as I've said higher up, I'm getting better at it so that they don't get to me.

Pre-Season Friendlies
Saturday, January 31 2015
17:15 - Saracens vs Bulls
Allianz Stadium
FNB Varsity Shield presented by Steinhoff International
Monday, February 02 2015
16:45 - FNB UWC vs FNB UKZN
UWC Sport Stadium, Bellville
19:00 - FNB TUT vs FNB UFH
TUT Stadium, Pretoria
Pre-Season Friendlies
Thursday, February 05 2015
07:30 - Melbourne Rebels vs Highlanders
Harlequin Rugby Club
21:50 - Toulon vs Sharks
Stade Felix-Mayol
HSBC Sevens World Series New Zealand
Friday, February 06 2015
01:00 - South Africa vs France
Westpac Stadium, Wellington
01:21 - USA vs Japan
Westpac Stadium, Wellington
01:42 - Australia vs Wales
Westpac Stadium, Wellington
02:03 - Fij vs Portugal
Westpac Stadium, Wellington
02:24 - Argentina vs Kenya
Westpac Stadium, Wellington

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