Rugby Union: Botha back for SA

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The Independent Online
STUNG by accusations of violent play and forced to make a late hotel switch, South Africa enter today's encounter with the Midi- Pyrenees XV in better heart as they welcome back their stand-off and captain, Naas Botha.

Complaints about the size of their hotel rooms in Colomiers, near Toulouse, led to the tourists moving to the hotel occupied by today's opponents. Whether familiarity breeds contempt remains to be seen, but according to one erstwhile South African the tourists have shown enough of that already, towards the spirit of the game that is. 'I heard them telling each other in Afrikaans to hack us in the rucks,' Andries van Heerden, who represented France at flanker in last season's Five Nations' Championship, said after sustaining bruised ribs and a gashed calf in Wednesday's 29-22 loss by Aquitaine. 'They were really dangerous.'

SOUTH AFRICA: J van Rensburg (Transvaal); J Small (Transvaal), D Gerber (W Province), H Fuls (Transvaal), J Oliver (N Transvaal); N Botha (N Transvaal, capt), G Wright (Transvaal); H Rodgers (Transvaal), H Roberts (Transvaal), W Hills (N Transvaal), A Malan (N Transvaal), D Hattingh (N Transvaal), W Bartmann (Natal), T Strauss (W Province), A Richter (N Transvaal).

MIDI-PYRENEES XV: H Mola (Stade Toulousain); P Garrigues (Graulhet), M Marfaing (Stade Toulousain), H Couffignal (Colomiers), D Dalpos (Colomiers); B Bellot (Graulhet), F Galthie (Colomiers, capt); F Ancelin (Colomiers), R Tremoulet (Graulhet), C Califano (Stade Toulousain), R Pelous (Graulhet), H Miorin (Stade Toulousain), A Carminati (Castres), T Maset (Stade Toulousain), N Hallinger (Colomiers).