Former All Blacks lock Ali Williams said it made for an easier game having Bakkies Botha locking next to him and not against him.
Williams played his first match for European Cup champions Toulon alongside Botha, who has been at the club since the end of the 2011 World Cup.
‘He’s different, he’s good different. He’s bigger, he’s a big man, he’s strong. I’m not as big or as strong, so my game’s slightly different from his,’ Williams told the media.
‘His physicality is definitely his strength, how strong he is, around the ruck and maul how effective he is. He’s very good in the scrum, a powerful player. (My strength) is more lineouts, I worry about the lineout (and) get that working. It’s a great honour to play next to him because I’ve played against him for so long.’
The two world class locks played against each other on eight occasions.
Both made their Test debuts on the same day, November 9, 2002, and both played in losing efforts, with Botha’s Boks beaten in Marseilles and Williams’s All Blacks losing at Twickenham.
Williams, when asked how he would remember his encounters with against Botha, said: ‘A sore rib, neck, and shoulders!’