Springboks suffer another blow as Bakkies Botha is ruled out of tournament
South Africa enforcer Bakkies Botha will play no further part in the Rugby World Cup due to an Achilles tendon injury.
The 76-Test veteran is expected to fly home on Friday in a massive blow to the defending champions ahead of Sunday's quarter-final against Australia in Wellington.
Botha is the second Springboks player to be ruled out of the tournament this week after Frans Steyn suffered a serious shoulder injury against Samoa.
Long-time team-mate Bryan Habana said the renowned hard man will be sorely missed both on and off the field.
"Bakkies had a talk to the team this morning and it did get a little bit emotional," Habana said.
"He's a guy that's really given his heart to this country for the last 10 years and he's become a good friend for a lot of us and he's a strong character for this team."
"It was a bit sombre in the team room this morning and I think Bakkies said it best, he said 'you never know when it's going to be your last game'."
In-form veteran Danie Rossouw will partner Victor Matfield in the second row against Australia.
"They're a proud rugby nation with great depth and they just keep producing one massive lock after another," Wallabies prop Ben Alexander said.
"They've got a production line there and Danie's a great player, he's an excellent ball carrier and he's just as big and just as physical and he's almost played as many Tests (62), so they won't lose too much."
Meanwhile, Habana and fellow winger P Pietersen will both start against the Wallabies after overcoming leg and knee injuries suffered in the brutal clash against Samoa.
Robbie Deans will announce his 22-man squad on Friday, with inside-centre Pat McCabe expected to return from a shoulder injury at the expense of Berrick Barnes.
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