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Toulon coach blocks Botha's Boks return

Paris - Toulon coach Bernard Laporte says he will not allow Bakkies Botha to play for South Africa against New Zealand in the Rugby Championship this weekend as cover for suspended lock Eben Etzebeth.

The 20-year-old Etzebeth was banned for two weeks for head-butting Australia lock Nathan Sharpe in Australia's come-from-behind win last week.

File Photo: Bakkies Botha takes part in a training session in Taupo. Credit: REUTERS

With Etzebeth ruled out until Sept. 24, South Africa coach Heyneke Meyer had put Botha on standby for Saturday's match after the 32-year-old veteran lock expressed an interest in playing.

But Laporte was quoted as saying Tuesday on the website of sports daily L'Equipe that “Bakkies will wear the Toulon jersey on Friday (against Montpellier) and not the South African one on Saturday.” Capped 76 times, Botha last played for South Africa at the 2011 World Cup.

Sapa-AP

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