Overseas site still ranks Bok legend Bakkies as ‘dirtiest’ player in history

According to a Ruck.co.uk compilation, Bakkies Botha leads their list of the “five most undisciplined and dirtiest players in rugby history”, followed by Frenchman David Attoub, Englishman Calum Clark, Kiwi Richard Loe and a second Englishman in Dylan Hartley.

The article was reposted on Tuesday after previously drawing plenty of attention in global rugby circles last year.

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Why Bakkies ranks at No 1 according to the website:

Bakkies Botha (South Africa)

The Springbok lock certainly totted up the bans. Eight weeks for ‘attacking the face’ of Aussie hooker Brendan Cannon in 2003; three weeks for striking another Wallaby, Phil Waugh, in 2009; two matches for an illegal clear out on Adam Jones in the second Lions Test in the same year; four weeks for a similar offence on Gio Aplon in 2010; and nine weeks for a head-butt on Jimmy Cowan in 2010. Unarguably one of the dirtiest rugby players ever.

In 2020, Botha famously said he does not for a ‘single second’ regret the incident in 2010 when he head-butted All Blacks scrumhalf Jimmy Cowan.

In an interview with French rugby publication Midi Olympique, Botha was asked about the controversial moment that took place during a Tri-Nations match at Eden Park in Auckland in 2010.

The act of foul play was missed by match officials, but Botha was cited afterwards and suspended for nine weeks.

When asked whether he had any regrets, Botha was emphatic: “No, not a single second. And if I were to relive this situation, I would do the exact same thing!”

“That day in Auckland I was battling with Cowan following a kick. I was faster than him. I had passed him and he pulled me by the shirt to slow me down. When I caught up with him ten metres away, I made him understand that I hadn’t liked it … I hate injustice.

“It’s not something I’m proud of. I kind of dropped the Springboks that day. And Jimmy Cowan won the mini battle. But I would react in exactly the same way today … it’s still the fault of the No 9. They talk too much and know better than anyone how to get you out of the game.”

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