CAPE TOWN, June 8 (Reuters) - South Africa will get a taste of what it is like to face their former lock enforcer Bakkies Botha when the veteran lines up for a World XV against the Springboks at Newlands on July 11.
The match is being used by Bok coach Heyneke Meyer as a warm-up fixture ahead of the international season and is the first time his team will play in this World Cup year.
The 35-yer-old Botha, who retired from all competitive rugby last month, is one of nine players from European champions Toulon in the World XV, with the French club also supplying Bernard Laporte to assist former Australia coach Robbie Deans.
Botha’s Toulon team mates who have been confirmed for the World XV are Delon Armitage (fullback), David Smith (wing), Rudi Wulf (centre), Maxime Mermoz (centre), Steffon Armitage (loose forward), Ali Williams (lock), Craig Burden (hooker) and Alexandre Menini (prop).
Also on the list are Springbok centre JJ Engelbrecht, Australia scrumhalf Luke Burgess and France flyhalf Maxime Machenaud.
The World XV will be captained by Louis-Benoit Madaule, who plays on the flank for French club Bordeaux.
“With the core of the World XV side coming from Toulon, and having already played together twice as the Barbarians against Ireland and England under Robbie Deans, they will arrive in South Africa a well-oiled machine and won’t need a lot of time to find their feet,” Meyer said in a statement released by South African Rugby Union (SARU) on Monday.
“Like last year, this match will be a superb way to start our season and, looking at the names they’ve assembled, especially with all the experienced Test players from Toulon in their pack, it certainly will provide us with a proper test in Cape Town.”
Thirteen players have been confirmed for the World XV so far and SARU said they expect to announce further additions shortly. (Reporting by Nick Said; Editing by Ken Ferris)