Jacques Botes – in his own words #JB270

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Currie Cup, In the news, Sharks, Super Rugby on 3 Oct 2014 at 08:06
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Morning Sharksworld – and welcome to Jacques Botes Day!

I can think of no more fitting way to kick off our tributes than to borrow (from some of the great man’s own words. I think these pretty much sum up the player we’ve all come to know and love over ten great seasons with the Sharks.

To sum up my career at the Cell C Sharks in a couple of words is really difficult. Firstly I want to thank all the people who gave me the opportunities, the grace of the company to allow me to travel this journey, from players to coaches to medical staff to administrators, family, and in particular my wife Nadia, her support and love have been unwavering. I feel very blessed with the grace shown to me by God. I’ve had some really amazing times here. I arrived in Durban as a newly-wed with a senior contract, hoping to make a life here and 10 years later, Durban is indeed our home now.

It’s tough to single out too many people, the list goes on and on, but I have been blessed to play with so many great players. The wonderful thing about the Cell C Sharks, and it’s helped my career, is that you play with a better quality of player and they make you look better as well. Johann Muller is one such player and he had a big impact on my rugby career. It was a very special occasion when he was captain and we managed to lift the Absa Currie Cup trophy for the first time in 12 years. He was immensely professional in the way he trained and conducted himself on and off the field. Stefan Terblanche was another, the ultimate professional, he managed to stay evergreen. I’d like to mention someone like John Smit as well. When I arrived at The Sharks, he was already Springbok captain and there was a real sense of awe about playing rugby with the Springbok captain. He has immense presence and authority, but also great humility. I could go on. Keegan Daniel and I played almost 200 games together, he also pipped the 200 mark and we formed a great friendship in our journey together as well. There are also great friendships with the likes of Bismarck du Plessis, Odwa Ndungane and Ruan Pienaar who all arrived with me in Durban at the same time. And Jean Deysel, Charl McLeod, Willem Alberts and Jannie du Plessis. Where do I stop?

One milestone that does stand out for me was my Super Rugby debut. Although we lost that game, I still recall it quite vividly. Getting to a point where you’re a regular in the team is also something I enjoyed and first tours and first trophies are also some wonderful memories. I’ve also really been blessed when it comes to injuries and managed to play a number of games on the trot. There were times we played some very exciting rugby, with different coaches.

There is a huge element of doing what you need to do if you want to play, and remain fit to play. You can’t rest on your laurels. I’ve made sure that any niggles were constantly rehabbed and even doing prehab, working with your body because it’s your asset; if the body doesn’t function, no matter how strong your mind or the quality of your skills, if you can’t be on the field then you can’t play. For me, if there was something that might take me from my best physical condition, then I’d rather cut it out. Whether it was drinking, or not doing recovery, or skipping an extra gym session.

There were a few opportunities to take up overseas contracts. There was often interest from the odd French club and there was a great offer at Sale Sharks which I nearly took, I was in a position of being released after five years here, but then they decided they really wanted me to stay. There was also an offer from Glasgow, but we just felt it was better for me to finish out my career here. If I wasn’t going to remain with The Sharks, I didn’t want to go anywhere else in South Africa. But the big thing was timing; initially I thought I would go overseas for a couple of years, but in hindsight, it’s worked out perfect for me – I’m grateful I didn’t go.

I have always been big on preparing well and that always gives lots of confidence. It’s funny how it works. When you put a little extra in, when you need it, it’s always there. Dick Muir always had this philosophy of money in the bank, and that’s what pre-season and hard training is all about. I like the philosophy of, ‘I train well even when I don’t feel like it, because I know that the result it produces far outweighs the effort.’ That’s been my motivation.

I am really looking forward to playing my last home game, it’s such a great privilege to be in a situation when you know this is it. So many people would have loved to have kept playing for the Cell C Sharks, some had their careers cut short by injury or lack of form. It’s a journey I will always treasure, and one I’m able to leave on my own terms. I’m very grateful that it’s worked out this way.”


  • What A Legend!! Wish I could be there in support of one of our greatest players… GO SHARKS!!!!!!!

  • Comment 1, posted at 03.10.14 08:38:57 by Citizen Reply
  • yster!

  • Comment 2, posted at 03.10.14 08:40:26 by West Indies Cricket Board Reply
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    West Indies Cricket Board
  • Jacques Botes is just such a fantastic role model and not just in Rugby. Not enough people like him in this world.

  • Comment 3, posted at 03.10.14 08:41:34 by gregkaos Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • The Sharks are saying farewell to one of the best, and yet most underrated, stars of his generation.

    I think his true worth will only be recognised once he is gone. He brought balance and composure to any loose-trio, and team, that he played in.

    All the best Jacques, and I hope you can continue to bring success to the Sharks with your off field work.

  • Comment 4, posted at 03.10.14 08:45:32 by StevieS Reply
  • The most amazing thing is that he went so long without missing a game. The dude put in so much work to be in such amazing shape that he stayed injury free. True professional. Bloody legend!

  • Comment 5, posted at 03.10.14 08:55:11 by PTAShark Reply
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  • And dig the header rob!

  • Comment 6, posted at 03.10.14 08:57:40 by PTAShark Reply
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  • @PTAShark (Comment 5) : All while putting 100% effort into every game he played.

  • Comment 7, posted at 03.10.14 08:59:24 by gregkaos Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • Jacques Botes, you are a Sharks Legend, FOREVER!

  • Comment 8, posted at 03.10.14 09:02:44 by JarsonX Reply
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  • I have a feeling we havent seen the last of him. With his personality and experience he could become a famous coach

  • Comment 9, posted at 03.10.14 09:28:24 by West Indies Cricket Board Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    West Indies Cricket Board
  • What a pleasure to see him in each of those games, the way he conducted himself on and off the field was always a good example. A legend. I won’t be able to go to this game, but I have recruited 6 friend to go in my place, to honour a great player. Ps. Jacques, Win against the Lions an Wp and we might still see him in a home semi.

  • Comment 10, posted at 03.10.14 09:29:08 by Letgo Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • Model citizen.

  • Comment 11, posted at 03.10.14 09:39:54 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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    Salmonoid the Subtle
  • I really hope we don’t let his expertise and experience go to waste. he should get a job on the coaching and development staff. We really need someone to look after the young forward coming into the fold.

  • Comment 12, posted at 03.10.14 10:09:12 by coolfusion Reply

  • @coolfusion (Comment 12) : In the words of CEO John Smit “I can confirm that at the conclusion of the Absa Currie Cup tournament, Jacques Botes will take on an administrative role at The Sharks, where he will continue to provide mentorship for the younger players in our squad”


  • Comment 13, posted at 03.10.14 10:19:30 by gregkaos Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • Although the start date for that role has been increased by a week or so.

  • Comment 14, posted at 03.10.14 10:21:14 by gregkaos Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • Legend. Legend. Legend. So glad he’s staying on at the union.

  • Comment 15, posted at 03.10.14 10:34:43 by vanmartin Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • No cliches needed. The game will miss you.

  • Comment 16, posted at 03.10.14 10:57:05 by Morné Reply
  • Its a good thing for the sharks to show players that there is a creeer off the field as well. it will instill the sense of family or being taken care of by the sharks franchise and encourage players to stay on even if there are better financial offers on the cards. I think NZ and Aus clubs do this quite well, this feeling of belonging.

  • Comment 17, posted at 03.10.14 11:04:31 by coolfusion Reply

  • Fantastic player and professional.

  • Comment 18, posted at 03.10.14 11:23:24 by Big Fish Reply
    Big Fish
  • Just one question, Cooper in or out today?

  • Comment 19, posted at 03.10.14 11:24:00 by coolfusion Reply

  • I love his reference to Dick Muir’s quote of “money in the bank”…that is so true when it comes to performances. You get out what you put in!

  • Comment 20, posted at 03.10.14 11:32:00 by Villie Reply
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  • @Villie (Comment 20) : I honestly wouldn’t mind to see Muir back at the union in some capacity.

  • Comment 21, posted at 03.10.14 12:16:02 by vanmartin Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • In the age when some players demand professional salaries but often act as amateurs in training and on the field, Jacques has a dedication to his franchise like from the amateur days plus a professional attitude to everything he does. I don’t think I have ever seen a game where he has not put in less than 100% effort.

  • Comment 22, posted at 03.10.14 13:10:24 by Bokhoring Reply
  • @coolfusion (Comment 19) : I’ve heard in, but don’t know for sure. They might want to check him again just before kick off

  • Comment 23, posted at 03.10.14 13:41:03 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • Would be great if Kyle can start. Hope we maintain our discipline, Boshoff and Combrinck both very capable kickers they could hurt us.

  • Comment 24, posted at 03.10.14 14:16:41 by coolfusion Reply

  • It has been said so many times, but I will say it again!

    A true Black & White LEGEND!

  • Comment 25, posted at 03.10.14 15:01:24 by Die Kriek Reply

  • Congrats! JB! Will be seeing u at the stadium soon, first game I’m going 2 in over a year, good to be back in SA.

  • Comment 26, posted at 03.10.14 16:07:30 by RuckingFun Reply


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