Jump to main content
Pivac would be “very surprised” if Sir Ian Botham is not supporting Wales

Pivac would be “very surprised” if Sir Ian Botham is not supporting Wales

Pivac would be “very surprised” if Sir Ian Botham is not supporting Wales

Wales head coach Wayne Pivac expects cricket legend Sir Ian Botham to back his team when they face England in their final Autumn Nations Cup group game.

The Red Rose are unbeaten in six games and defeated Wales 33-30 at Twickenham in the Guinness Six Nations earlier this year en route to winning the title.

But it has been a different story for Wales, who earned their first win in seven games last time out with a hard-fought 18-0 victory against Georgia at Parc y Scarlets.

James Botham – the grandson of Sir Ian – made his first start in that game and has been selected to wear the No.7 shirt again alongside Cardiff Blues teammate Shane Lewis-Hughes.

And when asked who he thought England cricket great Sir Ian would be supporting, Pivac told media: “I would be very surprised if it’s not the team in red!

“We talk about the injuries in the loose forwards, but these two boys have worked very hard and been impressive in training. If we felt they weren’t ready, we wouldn’t have put them out there.

“You have seen Shane go up and against the Irish and Scots and put in two very good displays. He’s a physical young man, and we are going to need a lot of that on the weekend.

“And in terms of Jim (James) Botham, you saw his performance in the Georgia game first up. Both of those guys, we are confident to put them out there and really excited to see how they go.”

Google Ad – 300×250

Flanker Botham, 22, has been in superb form for his club side in the Guinness PRO14 this season and was rewarded with a start at blindside for his country against Georgia.

Having been selected again to start against Eddie Jones’ men, Sir Ian explained his allegiance would have to be with his grandson when talking to the Will Greenwood Podcast.

“Blood is thicker than water. And to be honest with you, 99.9 per cent of the time I’m English through and through, but this might be that 0.1 per cent,” Botham said.

“Obviously I’m hoping he’ll [James] do really well. He’s got there very quickly, they’ve fast-tracked him. He’s just 22 so he’s got a long way to go, but I’d be the same as any grandad.

“And if you’re a grandad that says differently, you’re not a grandad in my book! I think he’s matured very quickly, particularly as a player.

“He’s come in, but has had some really good people around him which he acknowledged the other day when he received his cap – I thought that was good because in the moment of all the excitement you can forget those sorts of things.”

Previous Story Maisashvili makes six changes to Georgia team ahead of Ireland trip
Next Story Williams: We gave it everything but need to improve

More News

Pivac would be “very surprised” if Sir Ian Botham is not supporting Wales

Schmidt named New Zealand attack coach

19 hours ago
Thomas Gallo Rugby Championship

Talking points as New Zealand and Argentina bounce back in...

14th Aug 2022
Pivac would be “very surprised” if Sir Ian Botham is not supporting Wales

Storming South Africa look to compound All Blacks’ misery in...

11th Aug 2022