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12th Jul 2015

Rugby hardman Bakkies Botha proved yesterday that real men actually do cry

Will Slattery

Maybe he just had something in his eye.

Of all the things you associate Bakkies Botha with on a rugby pitch – punching, kicking, being a general colossus and nuisance – shedding a few tears isn’t one of them. But the teak tough South African couldn’t keep the waterworks at bay at the final whistle of yesterday’s friendly between the Springboks and a world XV in Cape Town.

Botha was playing his final game of rugby against the international side who he won a World Cup and two Tri-Nations with, and at the final whistle he shared a warm embrace with his former club and international boss, Heyneke Meyer.

South Africa v World XV

While the tears of Botha might have been a bit surprising, Springbok coach Meyer is notorious for letting his emotions get the better of him. If South Africa make it to the tail-end of the World Cup, he would do well to keep a cardiac specialist nearby.

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