Renaldo Bothma: My struggle with alcohol almost led to suicide – until I found my way back to rugby | Sport

This month the former Namibia captain and Harlequins forward Renaldo Bothma found himself in the most unlikely of rugby destinations: training and playing in Russia, in near sub-zero temperatures. Undesirable for some, perhaps, but for the 32-year-old the opportunity to represent the newly founded Israeli side Tel Aviv Heat in the Rugby Europe Super Cup is considered a “blessing”.

After all, context is required. Less than two years ago Bothma was certain that he would never play rugby again. A shock retirement from Test rugby on the eve of the 2019 World Cup was followed by an acrimonious exit from English club Harlequins. In the months that followed, Bothma spiralled into a “dark hole” of depression and anxiety.

On a road suddenly paved with potholes

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