World Rugby Hall of Fame – Induction No.116 – Naas Botha (South Africa, Northern Transvaal, Rovigo) 1958-
One of 25 legends inducted into the World Rugby Hall of Fame at Wembley Stadium, London, on 20 September, 2015.
Born: 27 February, 1958 in Breyten, South Africa
One of the all-time greats of South African rugby, Naas Botha would undoubtedly have won more than 28 caps for the Springboks had his country not been in sporting isolation for much of his 12-year international career.
First capped in 1980, the fly half went on to forge a reputation as an outstanding kicker of a rugby ball – either from hand or from the floor – and was the highest points-scorer in South African rugby history with 312 points until his mark was surpassed by Percy Montgomery in 2004. So highly was he rated as a kicker that his ability to run a game with speed of thought and movement was sometimes not fully appreciated.
During his international career Botha played an integral part in series wins over the 1980 British & Irish Lions and six years later he captained the Springboks to victory against the rebel New Zealand Cavaliers – an All Blacks side in all but name. Perhaps his best international display came in Wellington, when he scored 20 of his side’s points in a 24-12 win over the All Blacks.
A four-time winner of the South African Rugby Player of the Year award, Botha also enjoyed a highly-decorated club and provincial career, winning titles with Northern Transvaal and in Italy with Rovigo.