The Blue Bulls’ Springbok trio of Bakkies Botha, Victor Matfield and Fourie du Preez will celebrate their 50th appearances for the Blue Bulls when they play against the Free State Cheetahs in the Currie Cup final on Saturday.
Du Preez played his 50th match for the Union in the semi-final against Western Province, but the Blue Bulls’ custom is to celebrate your half century at Loftus Versfeld.
The trio, who have played an enormous role in the Blue Bulls’ success over the last few years, will lead the team onto the field.
Botha started his provincial career with the Valke in 1999 and two years later, in 2001, he started playing for the Blue Bulls. He made his Super rugby as well as Springbok debut in 2002 and has since played in 63 Tests for South Africa.
Botha also holds the world record with his good friend Victor Matfield for most Tests as a lock combination in the starting line-up (53).
Matfield first played for the Blue Bulls as a 20-year-old in 1998. After representing the Griquas in 1999 and 2000 he was again contracted by the Blue Bulls in 2001. Matfield is a veteran of 89 Tests and has captained the Boks in ten Tests.
Du Preez, who is a couple of years younger than Matfield and Botha, made his provincial debut for the Blue Bulls in 2001. After first playing Super rugby in 2003 he played his first Test for South Africa in 2004. He has 52 Test caps. — Sapa