Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Naas Botha (Hendrik Egnatius Botha) (born 27 February 1958) is a former Northern Transvaal and Springbok Rugby Union player. He was born in the town of Breyten in Mpumalanga, South Africa and went to school at the Hendrik Verwoerd High School in Pretoria. Botha mostly played in the flyhalf position. He is now a rugby commentator for the South African M-Net and Supersport TV channels.
Botha played his first test for the Springbok Rugby Team on 26 April 1980 at the age of 22 in the flyhalf position against South America at Wanderers , Johannesburg. He played his last test on 14 November 1992 at the age of 34 as flyhalf against England at Twickenham, London.
His tactical understanding of the game was considered as outstanding and his ability to dominate a match with his boot (both left- and right-footed) was beyond compare.
Botha was also blessed with a great pair of hands and could get a backline moving very quickly. While he seldom ran with the ball in the manner of a modern-day flyhalf, he was a very fast runner, resulting in a considerable number of tries for him and his fellow team members. However, Botha will best be remembered for his abilities as a drop-kicker.
The former Springbok captain remained the highest points scorer in Springbok rugby history, with a points total of 312, until July 17, 2004, when his tally was eclipsed by Percy Montgomery. This score may well have been higher, but for many years when he was in his prime rugby-playing period South Africa was isolated from the rest of the world because of the country's apartheid policies, denying him the chance of achieving even greater success.
In addition to his Springbok rugby-playing duties, he also played for the Northern Transvaal province (nicknamed the 'Blue Bulls ') from the late 1970s to the early 1990s. During this period his contributions ensured that they won the Currie Cup six times. He was also captain of the province a record 128 times and scored a record 2,511 points (including 1,699 points in the Currie Cup).
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