Eben Etzebeth Bakkies

London Irish hooker Agustin Creevy has received a one-week ban after he was cited for pulling opponent Eben Etzebeth’s hair. Photo: Twitter @RCTofficiel

WATCH: Eben says no hard feelings despite Bakkies giving him ‘sh*t’

Eben Etzebeth says issues between him and Bakkies Botha were resolved on a phone call after the Bok lock took exception to critical comments.

Eben Etzebeth Bakkies

London Irish hooker Agustin Creevy has received a one-week ban after he was cited for pulling opponent Eben Etzebeth’s hair. Photo: Twitter @RCTofficiel

The public spat between Eben Etzebeth and Bakkies Botha took many by surprise earlier this year. It stemmed from an interview with French publication Midi Olympique, in which iconic Bok lock Bakkies Botha suggested it was “disappointing” that Toulon never got to see the best of Etzebeth, even stating that the current Bok superstar “was not made for France”.


Etzebeth is soon set to join the Sharks, with the move coming not long after Toulon president Bernard Lemaître described Etzebeth as a “handicap” to the club because he is expensive and often unavailable.

Etzebeth subsequently took to social media to remind Botha of his “honour code”, which presumably relates to the Springboks’ brotherhood that suggests former teammates should not make such provocative statement in public before contacting the individual in question.

“@BakkiesBotha – Noted,” Etzebeth tweeted.

“Next time you want to ENFORCE an opinion, you’ve got my number. #exspringbokteammates #onthoujouerekode [remember your honour code].”

The comments understandably caught the attention of many rugby followers online, and Etzebeth has now further touched on the matter in a video interview for RugbyPass

“When I retire one day I won’t go around saying things about fellow Boks, so I was caught a bit off guard,” Etzebeth told Jim Hamilton.

“As players we get quite a lot of grief from fans, and now one of your own are also giving you some sh*t. I was a bit angry, surprised and disappointed in the comments.

“We spoke after that and all sorted, there’s no hard feelings. Bakkies rang me, and we spoke and he said it was taken out of context a bit. I also read the article. We solved it and when we see each other in South Africa again we’ll have a beer.”

Etzebeth had previously said there was an “interesting” talk held with Botha but he didn’t reveal what was said.

Below you can read some of the comments made by Bakkies Botha

“Eben Etzebeth? Incredible fighter, best second row in the world,” Bakkies Botha told Midi Olympique. “But I regret that he only shows his best face with the Springboks. In Toulon, he is still a little injured, concussed and in the end, never plays.

“Obviously, he was not made for France and he will turn his back on the problems the club went through to return to South Africa.

“It’s disappointing. I love Eben, I repeat. But you can’t say when you arrive in Toulon: ‘I want to be champion of France’ and leave some time later without having marked the club in one way or another.

“His first season was not bad but it is not enough. When you recruit a world-class player, it’s for him to make a difference.”

Eben Etzebeth may have grown disillusioned at Toulon

In a wide-ranging interview with newspaper Var-matinLemaître explained the issues the club faces in terms of player recruitment ahead of the upcoming 2022/2023 season, and quite bizarrely took a swipe at Etzebeth and Argentinian Facundo Isa. 


Etzebeth joined the French club in a high-profile, big-money move in 2019, and Lemaître suggested they weren’t getting bang for their buck.