Former Wales and British & Irish Lions scrumhalf Mike Phillips has recalled how he was stunned by a chirp from former Springbok lock Bakkies Botha.
The chirp occurred during the first Test between the Lions and the Springboks in 2009 after Phillips was denied a try when Botha knocked the ball out of his hands.
A frustrated Phillips – who at 1,91m was one of the biggest scrumhalves to play Test rugby – squared up to the 2,02m tall Botha, but told WalesOnline that was left red-faced by the imposing lock’s surprising response.
‘I’m gutted now and I look up and he’s standing there smiling at me with all his mates, who were all about 7ft tall,’ Phillips explained
‘I’m thinking I can’t let him just smile at me, so I made some comment about them all being on steroids.
‘At this point, I’m expecting a punch in the face or at least a push of some sort. But, in his thick accent, he’s come back with: “Oh, you have sexy blue eyes”. I was so confused. Fair play to him, I didn’t have any comeback for that.’
The Springboks would go on to win the series 2-1.
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