The Bakkies saga takes yet another nastier twist, as BBC Sports is reporting that a player strike could deprive South Africa of a further three of their World Cup winning squad for Wales’ summer tour.
A legal dispute threatens to rule out Brian Habana, Bakkies Botha and Wynand Olivier out of the June series.
All three are threatening to go on strike over a dispute Botha is having with the South African rugby union over a planned move to French side Toulon.
Flanker Schalk Burger is also a doubt after he injured his knee on Friday.
The strike threat has loomed because lock Botha is represented by Habana’s father Bernie, who also acts for his son and centre Olivier, with the trio all threatening to strike over the forward’s ongoing dispute.
Botha wants to join Toulon from his current Super 14 side the Blue Bulls and has already signed a contract with the French second division club.
But the Bulls and the South African Rugby Football Union (SARFU), who Botha is also contracted to, have refused to release him and are preventing him from moving abroad.
As a result, Botha has turned to the courts in an attempt to have his Bulls contract declared null and void while SARFU has not confirmed whether his Springbok contract is part of his court application.
The dispute is likely to end up before the Labour Court in Johannesburg as early as Wednesday.
SARFU’s potential squad problems do not end there as its current selection policy states that only three overseas-based players can be selected at any one time.
Currently World Cup-winning stars John Smit, Victor Matfield and Percy Montgomery all play in France while winger Butch James plays for Bath.
Hooker Smit’s place in the team looks to be assured after new national coach Peter de Villiers named him as captain but that means at least one of the others will not find a place in the test team.
Wales face South Africa in two tests starting with a game at Bloemfontein on 7 June and ending with a second clash at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria on 14 June.Tweet