|Mouritz Botha (left) and Tom Palmer of the England Rugby Union team share a smile after beating the Barbarians 57–26 in a friendly match at Twickenham Stadium.|
|Full name||Mouritz Botha|
|Date of birth||29 January 1982|
|Place of birth||Vryheid, South Africa|
|Height||1.98 m (6 ft 6 in)|
|Weight||117 kg (18 st 6 lb)|
|Rugby union career|
|Professional / senior clubs|
|Years||Club / team||Caps||(points)|
|Years||Club / team||Caps||(points)|
Mouritz Botha (born 29 January 1982 in Vryheid, Kwazulu-Natal Province, South Africa) is a rugby union player who plays for Saracens in the Aviva Premiership. He joined English club Bedford Blues in 2006 and made 73 appearances before moving to Saracens F.C. in 2009. Botha was named in the 2011 England Saxons squad for the Churchill Cup after qualifying for England on residency grounds. In 2011 he was selected in the England 44-man squad for the 2011 World Cup and made his England debut in the 23–19 England victory over Wales. Botha played in every game of England's 2012 Six Nations campaign, ultimately helping them to a second place finish.
Botha joined Bedford Blues from Bedford Athletic in 2006 and was a mainstay in the Bedford team. His performances for the Bedford team got the attention of many different people including the selectors for the East Midlands team. Botha was selected for the East Midlands team to play in the match against the Barbarians. These performances eventually got the attention of the incoming Saracens head coach Brendan Venter and he was signed for Saracens in 2009.
Botha started the 2009/10 season having just signed from National League One side Bedford Blues, but he finished it as one of the Premiership's most consistent second rows and pushing for international honours with England.
Botha was signed for Saracens in the summer of 2009 from the National League One team the Bedford Blues. He made his debut on 5 September 2009 in the London Double Header against London Irish. He came on as a substitute in the 60th minute for fellow Saracens lock Hugh Vyvyan. Mouritz was a success in his first season for Saracens and quickly became a fan's favourite. The season ended in an appearance in the Guinness Premiership Final for Saracens. He again came on as a substitute in this game. Overall in the 2009–10 season he made 32 appearances and scored 1 try.
Mouritz Botha played for Saracens during the 2010–11 season. Mouritz played a vital role in helping Saracens to win the 2011 Aviva Premiership. Along the way he made 27 appearances and was named in the 2011 Sky Sports Dream Team. As a reward for his fantastic performances during the season he was named in the 2011 England Saxons squad for the Churchill Cup. He made his debut in the 87–8 victory over the USA. After his performances for the Saxons, Mouritz was selected in the full England squad and made his debut against Wales.
For Mouritz this season was his third season for Saracens and he played throughout the season for Saracens helping them to finish in the semi-final places of the Aviva Premiership, losing to Leicester Tigers in the semi-final. Overall in the season he made 24 appearances for Saracens scoring one try. Due to his performances for Saracens he made appearances for England in both the Six Nations and in all 3 tests on England's tour of South Africa.
The 2012–13 season is Botha's 4th season at Saracens and during the season, Botha made his 100th appearance for the club in the 40–7 win over Edinburgh Rugby, helping Saracens to win their Heineken Cup pool, giving them a home quarter final draw against Ulster. Botha also started in the first ever Aviva Premiership match to be played at Saracens' new ground Allianz Park, in a 31–11 victory over Exeter Chiefs. Botha came off of the bench as a second half substitute for Alistair Hargreaves to help Saracens to a 27–16 victory over Ulster in the quarter final of the Heineken Cup setting up a semi final with Toulon at Twickenham. So far in the season, Botha has made 24 appearances for Saracens, scoring 1 try.
Although he was born in South Africa, Botha qualifies for England on residency grounds having moved to England in 2004. Botha impressed with his performances for Saracens on the way to them becoming the Aviva Premiership champions and this led to him being named in the 2011 England Saxons squad for the Churchill Cup. In 2011 he was selected in the England 44 man squad for the 2011 World Cup and made his England debut in the 23–19 England victory over Wales although missed out on selection for England's World Cup Squad.
Botha played in every game of England's 2012 Six Nations campaign, ultimately helping them to a second place finish. At the end of 2012, Botha was named in the England squad for their tour of South Africa. Returning to his homeland, he started in England's 22–17 loss to South Africa. He later started in the second test and came on as a substitute in the 14–14 draw with South Africa in the last test.
Botha was named in the Elite Player Squad for the Autumn Internationals although only made one appearance as a substitute against South Africa, largely due to the emergence of Joe Launchbury. For the 2013 Six Nations, Botha was originally named in the England Saxons squad but was then later called up to the full senior squad due to an injury to Callum Clark.
- "Saracens – First Team Squad". Saracens official site. Retrieved 24 September 2011.
- Hewett, Chris (17 May 2010). "Goode calls tune as Saints learn Sarries' victory song off by heart". London: independent.co.uk. Retrieved 9 November 2010.
- "Saracens sign Botha from Bedford". bbc.co.uk. 16 June 2009. Retrieved 9 November 2010.
- "BBC Sport – Saracens prop Matt Stevens included in England Saxons squad". BBC News. 31 May 2011. Retrieved 7 August 2011.
- Rees, Paul (20 January 2013). "Chris Ashton helps Saracens see off Edinburgh to reach quarter-finals". The Guardian (London).
- "Daily Mail Report of England vs South Africa 3rd test". London: Daily Mail. 23 June 2012. Retrieved 21 September 2012.