Munster’s Botha relishes battle with former team mates

Colm Kinsella

Reporter:

Colm Kinsella

Munster's BJ Botha, right, and Cathal Sheridan during a warm up drill at  training at Thomond Park this week ahead of their crucial Guinness PRO12 clash with Ulster at Kingspan Stadium on Saturday, 2.40pm
MUNSTER prop BJ Botha is eagerly looking forward to locking horns his former Ulster team mates in Saturday’s crucial Guinness PRO12 clash at Kingspan Stadium, 2.40pm.

MUNSTER prop BJ Botha is eagerly looking forward to locking horns his former Ulster team mates in Saturday’s crucial Guinness PRO12 clash at Kingspan Stadium, 2.40pm.

Botha, who spent three seasons with Ulster, is in his fourth season with Munster and is due to leave the province at the end of 2015.

Second-placed Munster currently enjoy a one-point lead over third-placed Ulster in the battle to secure a home semi-final in the PRO12 play-offs later this month. Munster complete their programme of regular season fixtures against the Dragons at Musgrave Park on Saturday, May 16.

Former Springboks prop Botha said: “You look forward to playing your old team-mates, but also some of the old countrymen (South Africans) that you’ve spent a lot of your career with as well previously so obviously that makes it extra special.

“I think it picks you up a little bit more as well. It’s a great place to play and it won’t be short on the physicality part that they bring. So it’s a great contest for me anyway being on that side and now being on this side. I know there is always going to be that physicality which I enjoy the most.”

In March, Botha signed a six-month contract extension to remain at Munster until at least December 2015.

Speaking at Thomond Park this week, Botha said: “For me I think before I have expressed that I am happy enough six months or even yearly. At this stage we have agreed on the six months. For me at this stage I’m happy to get through and put in performances game by game. At my time in my career I think you have to be there mentally and the physical part comes after that again.

“For me, I think I will make the decision again – hopefully if I get the opportunity – at the end of the year and see can I remain on and see if I am wanting to stay on as well from both sides. At this stage I am happy to stay on and hopefully I’ve got more to contribute and to still play at that level.”

Saturday’s meeting of Ulster and Munster will be televised live on Sky Sports.