Botha is a giant of South African rugby and boasts a rugby CV that includes Rugby World Cup, Tri-Nations, Super 14 and Currie Cup success.
An U19, U23 and South Africa 'A' international, Botha made his senior bow against France in 2002 and has since gone on to cement his place in the Springboks' ranks and form arguably the strongest second row partnership in world rugby alongside Victor Matfield.
By the end of 2008 they had appeared alongside each other an incredible 46 times with Botha quoted as saying, "Sometimes I feel we know each other better than we know our wives." Sometime overshadowed by his second row partner, Botha more than holds his own in the lineout, and in the loose, and is seen as South Africa's enforcer.
He was part of South Africa's squad for the 2003 Rugby World Cup, scoring three tries, and would later help propel the Boks to only their second Tri-Nations crown. By that stage the indiscipline problems that had plagued the early part of his career appeared to have been banished under the influence of coach Jake White.
His second Rugby World Cup appearance followed in 2007 where he played a pivotal role in the Springboks' charge to the sport's biggest crown.
He reached the 50-cap milestone in the historic victory over New Zealand in Dunedin in 2008 but was later ruled out of the rest of the Tri-Nations with a posterior cruciate ligament injury suffered in the clash with Argentina.
But he returned for the Springboks undefeated end of year tour of the UK and featured in all three victories against Wales, Scotland and the record-win against England. It was in the latter game that Botha provided a prime example of his exemplary stamina and work-rate to chase down and tackle England speedster Delon Armitage.
On the domestic stage, Botha was also a member of the Bulls side that clinched the Super 14 crown in 2007 with a dramatic victory over South African rivals the Sharks, a feat that he repeated in 2009 before playing the first two Tests in the Springboks' series victory over the Lions.