South African great Naas Botha’s unlikely new rugby coaching job


South Africans Jannie Brooks, Naas Botha, Ludwiche Van Deventer and Christiaan Buitendach will coach India’s national men’s rugby team.

Springboks great Naas Botha is going to coach in the rugby outpost of India.

Botha, dubbed “Nasty Booter” because of his booming boot off either foot and deadly accurate goalkicking, has accepted a short-term deal to take charge of India’s national men’s team.

He will oversee their campaign in the third division Asia Rugby Championship in Indonesia in June. India are in the same group as Indonesia and China.

Children from local rugby clubs train at the Bombay Gymkhana during the Rugby World Cup 2019 trophy tour in India.


Children from local rugby clubs train at the Bombay Gymkhana during the Rugby World Cup 2019 trophy tour in India.

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The sport is minor in India but building – there are only 5795 registered players in a country with a population of 1.34 billion.

Botha, 61, has brought in South African help for the assignment.

Former Currie Cup winner Jannie Brooks will be the conditioning coach while another Currie Cup winner, Christiaan Buitendach will coach the forwards and sevens expert Ludwqiche Van Deventer will look after the backs.

They will also oversee India’s high-performance programmes and help the union’s other national squads.

They have already been working with the men’s team.

India’s highest profile rugby figure Rahul Bose, a former national team player and a Bollywood film actor, director, and screenwriter, believes Botha’s appointment is a sign of the sport’s serious intentions in his country.

 “Naas had been travelling in and out of India for a while now, and we’ve been in touch with him through the entire period; and like most great rugby players, he’s more than willing to serve the sport and share his expertise and knowledge,” Bose told ESPN.

“He’s majorly doing this for the love of the game. Where else will you have a living legend come in unless you offer maybe astronomical fees?”

Botha, a kicking first-five, played 28 tests for the Springboks between 1980 and 1992 in an international career stalled by South Africa’s political isolation.

He played on the controversial 1981 tour of New Zealand in a test series won by the All Blacks and suffered a loss to the All Blacks at home in 1992 when the Boks were readmitted to the test scene.



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Publish date : 2019-04-01 21:24:00

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