South African rugby player Bakkies could appeal for French move

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South Africa Springbok world cup winner lock Bakkies Botha looks to be staying at the Blue Blues after being denied a French move by the labour court in Johannesburg, reports say today.

Bakkies, who is currently on Tri-Nations duty for the Springboks, had signed a new contract with the Bulls back in 2006, only to recently request a move to big-spending Top 14 newcomers Toulon.

But when this transfer request was turned down by SA Rugby and the Bulls, the powerful player took his case to the labour court.

However, Bakkies’s persistence has been unsuccessful and he is expected to serve his remaining three-year deal at Loftus Versfeld.

Although the details of the judgement are not yet fully known, reports say it seems certain that Bakkies will no longer take up the offer from Toulon.

He does, however, still have the option to appeal the judgement or to revert to the Council for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA).

Reports say Bakkies has so far made no efforts to explain how it came to pass that he signed a deal with Toulon while still under contract in South Africa.

There was, however, a heavy sigh of relief emanating from the Bulls camp, who now look forward to amending their relationship with Bakkies after a fairly heated process.

“We are looking forward to a new constructive relationship with Bakkies,” BBC CEO Barend van Graan is quoted as saying today.

He said he has not seen the contents of the judgment yet, so it is difficult to comment.

“To be fair to Bakkies, we haven’t had a chance to chat to him yet either. But we are relieved,” he added.

Bakkies, whose real name is John Philip Botha, but usually referred to by his nickname was born 22 September 1979 in Newcastle, KwaZulu-Natal Province.

He played for the under-19 and under-23 Springbok sides before being chosen for the South African “A” team that toured Europe at the end of 2001.

The following year he was selected for the Springbok team and made his debut against France in Marseille on 9th September 2002, a game the Springboks went on to lose 30-10.

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