AFTER a false start Albury’s new South African recruit will make his Australian rugby union debut for Southern Inland’s representative team this weekend, and can’t wait for his first taste of a different style of rugby.
Lex Botha was initially set to debut for the Steamers against Ag College on Saturday, but a minor hamstring strain ruled him out.
However the 21-year-old is confident he’ll be right for the Brumbies Provincial Tournament at Conolly Rugby Complex which starts on Saturday.
“I was so excited to just get running and I warmed up not good enough and it was a bit chilly (on Friday night) and I pulled it,” Botha said.
“Luckily it’s not really serious and just a week or so thing.”
Linking with the Steamers this year, Botha is hoping the move to Albury can lead onto bigger and better things.
The outside centre has a strong rugby background and has been part of the Sharks under 21 academy and played first grade sevens for the Sharks.
The Durban native can’t wait to test himself in the best rugby competition in Southern NSW.
“I’m here for three months for a bit of experience with Australian rugby,” Botha said.
“It’s a different culture – I want to learn some new things, how you guys play and really enjoy it.”
He’ll provide another dangerous weapon for the undefeated Steamers and work outside Blake Le Cornu and Richard Manion, who are also in SIRU representative team for the three-day tournament.
Botha arrived on the border at 4am last Monday and after a quick orientation of the city is quickly adapting to a new way of life.
Currently living with Steamers coach Mick Raynes, the 21-year-old will soon be joined by another South African and the pair will move in together.
In a move that will bolster Albury’s already strong team, Tyron Fagan will be added to their forward stocks.
The prop played alongside Botha in the Sharks academy and is expected to arrive in Albury in three more weeks.
Apart from experiencing new things on the the rugby field, the 21-year-old is looking forward to the Australian way of life.
He’s already been given an initiation to Albury life, but is looking forward to encountering another quintessential Australian thing – seeing kangaroos.
“I haven’t seen any kangaroos yet so I’m a bit disappointed,” Botha said.
Southern Inland kick off its representative campaign against South Coast on Saturday before taking on South Australia on Sunday.
They’ll conclude the tournament on Monday, coming up against Monaro.
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