Botha blow for Boks

Springbok flanker Arno Botha will miss the incoming Tests against Wales and Scotland due to a serious knee injury.

News from the Bulls camp is that the injury sustained in this Saturday's warm-game against the Stormers will sideline Botha for at least six months. This will rule Botha out of the first part of the Bulls' Super Rugby campaign, and more importantly, out of the Boks' Tests in June.

Botha made his Test debut in 2013, impressing as a starter against Italy in Durban. Unfortunately, in the fourth minute of the following game against Scotland, Botha sustained a freak knee injury that would end his season prematurely. In his comeback game in Polokwane this past Saturday, Botha left the field with an ACL injury.

He now faces surgery and another lengthy stint of rehabilitation. The Bulls will miss his power and athleticism in the back row, and no doubt Bok coach Heyneke Meyer will lament his absence, come the three Tests in June.

Meyer rates Botha highly, and had big plans for the youngster before that untimely injury against Scotland. Botha is a solid option at blindside flanker and also an excellent No 8. His versatility would have been a boon for the Boks in an important Test season.

Photo: Barry Aldworth/Backpagepix

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