Tale of the tape: Bakkies Botha v Eben Etzebeth – whose corner are YOU in?

It’s been a week of ‘sit back and get the popcorn’ and enjoy the spat between Springbok legends Bakkies Botha and Eben Etzebeth.

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Botha threw the first ‘punch’ when he suggested Etzebeth saves his best form for the Springboks and doesn’t give his all at club level.

In particular, Botha was referring to Etzebeth’s short and not-so-sweet time at French Top 14 giants Toulon who he hardly represented thanks to a combination of international commitments and injury before quitting the club a year early in order to return to South Africa (and the Sharks).

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Botha is a legitimate Toulon legend having won the Heineken Cup / European Rugby Champions Cup in 2013, 2014 and 2015 and was also part of the Top 14-winning Toulon side in 2014.

Famed French coach Bernard Laporte is on record as saying Botha was the “greatest player he ever coached”. High praise indeed.

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Etzebeth responded to Botha’s comments in a viral tweet, writing: “@BakkiesBotha – Noted.

“Next time you want to ENFORCE an opinion, you’ve got my number. #exspringbokteammates #onthoujouerekode [remember your honour code].”

@BakkiesBotha4 – Noted.

Next time you want to ENFORCE an opinion, you’ve got my number.#exspringbokteammates#onthoujouerekode

— Eben Etzebeth (@EbenEtzebeth) February 21, 2022

We await Botha’s response!

Not that it would ever come down to fisticuffs, hypothetically if it did, whose corner would you like to be in?

EXCLUSIVE: HOW SHARKS PULLED OFF ‘LONG-TERM’ ETZEBETH SIGNING

BAKKIES BOTHA

Full name: John Philip Botha

Date of birth: 22 September 1979 (age 42)

Height: 2.02 metres (6-foot-7)

Weight: 124kg

Bicep size: Huge

Tests: 85

Starts: 77

Substitute: 8

Tests won: 64 (75.3%)

Tests lost: 21 (24.7%)

Test points: 35

Tries: 7

First Test: v France in Marseille, 9 November 2002

Last Test: v England in London, 15 November 2014

TITLES

Vodacom Cup: 2021

Currie Cup: 2002, 2004, 2006 (draw), 2009

Super Rugby: 2007, 2009, 2010

Heineken Cup: 2013, 2014, 2015

Top 14: 2014

Rugby World Cup: 2007

Tri-Nations: 2004, 2009

British & Irish Lions series win: 2009

Mandela Plate Challenge (v Australia): 2005, 2009

Freedom Cup (v New Zealand): 2004, 2009

Prince William Cup (v Wales): 2007, 2008, 2010

READ | BOKS’ 2022 TESTS REVEALED! SURPRISE VENUE FOR ALL BLACKS CLASH

EBEN ETZEBETH

Full name: Eben Etzebeth

Date of birth: 29 October 1991 (age 30)

Height: 2.03 metres (6-foot-8)

Weight: 122kg

Bicep size: Massive!

Tests: 95

Starts: 90

Substitute: 5

Tests won: 57 (60%)

Tests lost: 33 (34.7%)

Tests drawn: 5 (5.3%)

Test points: 15

Tries: 3

First Test: v England in Durban, 9 June 2012

Most recent Test: v Wales in Cardiff, 6 November 2021

TITLES

Currie Cup: 2012

Rugby World Cup: 2019

Rugby Championship: 2019

British & Irish Lions series win: 2021

Mandela Plate Challenge (v Australia): 2013, 2014, 2019

Prince William Cup (v Wales): 2013, 2014, 2021

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