Even though he has played under the glare of the spotlight at two World Cups, Southern Kings fullback Chrysander Botha says there are still a few nerves floating around ahead of Saturday’s opening Super Rugby match against the Jaguares. The veteran of 40 test matches for Namibia says, however, that nerves are not a bad thing because they keep players on their toes.
Last year, the Kings could win only two of their 15 matches, but they are hoping for a more successful campaign after a gruelling pre-season.
This time they are planning to get off to a winning start against an Argentine side packed with test stars at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium (kickoff 5.15pm).
“Yes, I am a bit nervous because it is the first game in a big competition that is shown worldwide on television,” Botha said.
“But it is good to be on your nerves because it brings the best out in you. It keeps you on your toes and you cannot go into a relaxed zone.
“But you have to control them and the Kings are right and they are prepared.”
Botha, 28, is an experienced campaigner and previously played for the Golden Lions in the Currie Cup and Vodacom Cup competitions and for the Lions in Super Rugby.
He made his test debut against Zimbabwe in 2008 and played against Fiji in the 2011 Rugby World Cup, scoring a try.
He also played in both legs of the Lions’ promotion/relegation matches after the 2013 Super Rugby season, which saw the Lions regain their spot in Super Rugby. “These Jaguares guys are representing their country, so for them it is like a test,” he said.
“They also want to impress and stay in the Argentine test team.
“We know they will come with a passion and a heavy pack of forwards who are known for their work in the scrums.
“If we can lay a platform and play from there we can do well.
“I think fans can expect a high intensity and ‘do whatever it takes’ kind of game.
“The Kings are willing and able to throw the ball around and are able to play an exciting brand of rugby and to get the stadium packed.”
Last year, the Kings beat the Argentine outfit 29-22 in PE when the Jaguares were left with 12 men after New Zealand referee Nick Briant dished out two red cards and a yellow.
After the ill-tempered showing in South Africa, the Jaguares exacted their revenge with a crushing 73-27 in the return match in Beunos Aires.
Their touring squad: is: Matias Alemanno, Fleipe Arregui, Rodrigo Baez, Christian Bartolini, Gonzalo Bertranou, Santiago Cordero, Agustin Creevy, Jeronimo de la Fuente, Joaquin Diaz Bonilla, Bautista Ezcurra, Felipe Ezcurra, Santiago Garcia Botia, Santiago Gonzalez Iglesias, Nicolas Sanchez, Marcos Kremer, Tomas Lezana, Benjamin Macome, Pablo Matera, Julian Montoya, Matias Moroni, Ramiro Moyano, Lucas Paz, Matias Orlando, Guido Petti, Leonardo Senatore, Roberto Tejerizo, Joaquin Tuculet.