How Nyakane turned it around

    2014-07-07 21:01
    Cape Town - Springbok and Cheetahs prop Trevor Nyakane is smiling again... that famous smile South Africa fell in love with after his breakthrough season in 2013.

    Nyakane spoke to the MyPlayers website about his journey to rugby redemption after working through his troubles on and off the field.

    The 25-year-old showed outstanding form during the Cheetahs' impressive Super Rugby campaign, which saw them qualify for the playoffs for the first time in their tournament history.

    He showed amazing progress as he was able to make an impact at loosehead or tighthead prop.

    Nyakane then received a deserved call-up to the Springbok squad and made his Test debut against Italy in June last year. He went on to play against Scotland and Samoa, and scored his first Test try in the latter fixture. Nyakane clearly had a bright future ahead of him.

    However, things quickly turned sour for the big man.

    After breaching the national team's protocol more than once, head coach Heyneke Meyer dropped Nyakane from the squad. Things worsened during Super Rugby this season as Nyakane lost his starting place and featured mostly on the bench.

    "It wasn't an easy experience to go through," said Nyakane. "At the one stage, I was enjoying life and felt nothing could get any better. Then suddenly, I found myself in difficult circumstances.

    "As I reflected on the situation, I could only blame myself. I decided to go into things with a clean slate and work hard to prove myself again.

    "My girlfriend, family and friends offered an amazing support base. They told me to keep grinding, which helped me remain motivated."

    And it worked.

    Nyakane showed enough during Super Rugby to give Meyer the confidence to recall him to the Springbok squad for the June internationals. He then came off the bench to play in the 55-6 win over Scotland last weekend to claim his fourth Test cap.

    "It was amazing to be back with the Springboks. Everybody welcomed me," said Nyakane.

    "Looking back, I see my difficult circumstances as a blessing in disguise. The experience has helped me realise to never stop working hard and always to do what's required."

    So what's next for Nyakane?

    He has to decide on his Super Rugby future as his contract with the Cheetahs comes to an end in November. He's also being chased by the Bulls and Stormers, who have put in decent offers to sign the Springbok prop.

    "I still haven't decided what to do yet," explained Nyakane. "I want to make the best decision for my career. I want to be in a team that plays winning rugby... one that will offer me playing opportunities."  

    Whatever Nyakane decides, you can bet he will be doing all that he can to achieve success; showcasing that famous smile on and off the field.

    For more exclusive player content, check out

    Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

    Comment on this story
    Add your comment
    Comment 0 characters remaining
    Live Video Streaming
    • Blitz
      Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @00:00
    • SS1
      Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @01:00
    • SS2
      Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @02:00
    • SS3
      Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @03:00
    Sport Talk
    Most Read


    13 February 2015
    • Crusaders v Melbourne Rebels, Christchurch 08:35
    • Brumbies v Reds, Canberra 10:40
    • Lions v Hurricanes, Johannesburg 19:10
    14 February 2015
    • Blues v Chiefs, Albany 08:35
    • Sharks v Cheetahs, Durban 17:05
    • Bulls v Stormers, Pretoria 19:10
    15 February 2015
    • Waratahs v Western Force, Sydney 07:05


    02 August 2014
    26 July 2014
    19 July 2014
    12 July 2014
    11 July 2014
    06 July 2014
    05 July 2014
    04 July 2014
    28 June 2014
    27 June 2014
    31 May 2014
    30 May 2014
    24 May 2014
    23 May 2014
    18 May 2014
    17 May 2014
    16 May 2014
    11 May 2014
    10 May 2014
    09 May 2014
    03 May 2014
    02 May 2014
    26 April 2014
    25 April 2014
    19 April 2014
    18 April 2014
    12 April 2014
    11 April 2014
    05 April 2014
    04 April 2014
    29 March 2014
    28 March 2014
    22 March 2014
    21 March 2014
    15 March 2014
    14 March 2014
    08 March 2014
    07 March 2014
    01 March 2014
    28 February 2014
    23 February 2014
    22 February 2014
    21 February 2014
    15 February 2014


    Rank Team P W Pts

    Opinion Poll

    Does the Waratahs' Super Rugby victory give the Wallabies an edge heading into the Rugby Championship?

    Monday Quiz Madness!

    There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.