Botha vs Thorn

Two veterans of the game will meet one final time in a match that will decide who finishes top of Pool 3, writes BRENTON CHELIN.

Great rivals on the field and friends off it, Bakkies Botha and Brad Thorn find themselves in the twilight of their illustrious careers. Both will call time on their playing days at the conclusion of the season, where they will be looking to go out in a blaze of glory by capturing the European Champions Cup.

Despite growing long in the tooth, the pair have lost none of their bite in the second row. Thorn has played a pivotal role in Leicester's recent transformation and completed all 80 minutes of last weekend's 25-21 victory at Welford Road, even picking up a try.

Botha was outdone by the New Zealander, lasting just 57 minutes before being replaced by Romain Taofifénua. At 39 years of age, Thorn gives away four years to Botha and while he remains a fine physical specimen, it remains to be seen whether he can continue to perform at this level week after week.

Irrespective of the outcome, it should be a great pleasure to watch these two greats of the modern game go at it one last time.

Photos: Charles McQuillan/David Rogers/Getty Images