MUNSTER tight-head prop BJ Botha has spoken this week of his desire to stay with the province, even though he is a ‘free agent’ at the end of the current season. The former Springbok forward has settled well in the province, following his move from Ulster in 2011.
“I’ve been here four years now, so I am very happy here. We settled as a family which is the most important thing and then obviously the rugby part is great. They’re a great bunch of guys to play with. Obviously the performances are coming together slowly too this season, so it is all good”
The 2007 World Cup winner with South Africa is aware that his age might play a part, but the number three feels he can still offer something on the field for Munster, as long as he can secure that contract of course.
“That’s not my decision really. We still have not gone in that direction yet. I think we just want to concentrate on what’s on the field at this stage and then we’ll see. I’m at a stage in my career now where I still want to kinda play a few years but I’m not in the younger years any more but it’s still on the back-burner at the moment. We’ve just got to perform on the field at the moment and see what happens. I’m in a different position to the other players I think a lot of the other guys they are signing up are younger basically guys they want to sign up for a good two or three years. I’m in a different bracket in that sense so and it doesn’t concern me that much. It’s a case of performing now and we’ll sort that stuff as we get to this break now; I think get over this hurdle of this game now”
There is little doubt when reading between the lines that Botha wants to stay. Rumours around the squad suggest that Botha will remain on, even in a prop coaching role next season, with the aim of maybe developing tight head props for the province.
“I think I’ve expressed (that I want to stay) in quite a number of interviews . The answer is obviously a big yes but we’ll see if that happens.
Looking at the more short term event, Munster travel to face the Ospreys this weekend and Botha knows that a physical battle is guaranteed.
“Yeah for sure, they always up their game for us I think, there’s a lot of physicality goes with it. It doesn’t matter what Ospreys side they bring out so you can’t be thinking about which player they bring out. They always bring a physicality to their game and you have to match it and beat it. They’re so skilful as well so it’s always a tough place to go so you’d always enjoy going there”
Munster face the Ospreys at 2.40pm on Sky Sports, this Saturday March 7.