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Botham relishing opportunity to bounce back in Cape Town

First Team News | 17th March 2022

James Botham is relishing the opportunity to bounce back from defeat when Cardiff take on DHL Stormers on Sunday (KO 12.00pm GMT).

Following last week’s defeat to Emirates Lions in Johannesburg, the Blue and Blacks move on to Cape Town this week to take on a Stormers side who head into the clash on the back of a convincing win over Zebre.

But Botham, who was on the scoresheet at Ellis Park, is excited by the depth in the Cardiff squad despite injuries and insists his side want to prove a point in Cape Town.

“A loss is always disappointing because we’re always there to win. It was definitely tough to come by and we didn’t start nowhere near where we wanted to. Somethings didn’t go our way but that’s the way it goes,” said the back row.

“It was disappointing, but the good thing as with anything is that we can bounce back now. We want to prove a point now this weekend and that’s where we need to take it.

“We can leave last weekend, let it go and just get better as a team.

“They’re big old sides here in South Africa, and we’ve taken some niggles and big injuries. 

“But luckily we’ve got depth in this squad. Some of the younger boys might play and it would be great to give them an opportunity out here against a different type of opposition.

“It would be interesting to see how they go. The team have all played together and are buying in. We should hopefully get the result that we want.”

After playing at altitude in Johannesburg last week, temperatures are expected to reach up to 30°C in Cape Town on Sunday.

Botham says it will be crucial for Cardiff to adapt to the weather conditions as they focus on professional preparations ahead of the encounter.

“It was definitely different to play at altitude, and it affected the lungs a bit more than I’m used to,” added the Welsh internationals.

“But to be honest, it wasn’t as hot as I thought it was going to be. This weekend coming it’s going to be around 32 degrees where as it was 25 on the weekend.

“It will be a massive step-up in temperature. The altitude won’t be there but it’s the heat we’ll have to deal with.

“We’ve had a nice week of training in this heat and it’ll be interesting now. We’ll get those water breaks in and see how it goes.

“Wales are heading here in the summer but with the international stuff, the way I see it is that we’re out here with Cardiff and that’s all I’m focused on.

“I want to take every step as it comes. I’ve been out here before when we came with Wales under-18s. We came out with my school too and it’s always tough but it’s about doing those little extras.

“You look after yourself a bit better before getting on that plane and bring the recovery. Mostly importantly, when you’re out here, is to not spend too much time in the sun or get carried away.

“We’re just being professional about it, keeping your head going and taking each game as it comes.

“Like I say, hopefully you get the rewards and you can experience the other stuff later on.”