Rugby Championship

New Bok addition Nkosi remains grounded

2017-09-21 17:00
S’busiso Nkosi (Gallo Images)

Durban - It’s been a dream season for Sharks wing S’busiso Nkosi, who received a Springbok call-up following impressive performances during Super Rugby and the Currie Cup.

This week, in particular, has been special for the 21-year-old Nkosi.

He was on his way to family home in Pretoria to surprise his mom, who’s celebrating her graduation this week, before more good news came on Wednesday afternoon when he received a Springbok call-up for the national team’s remaining Rugby Championship Tests against Australia and New Zealand.

He was one of the standout performers for the Sharks during Super Rugby earlier this season, and he continued that form during the Currie Cup, emerging as joint top try-scorer with Western Province wing Seabelo Senatla (seven tries after nine rounds).

Nkosi said he’s grateful for the opportunity to join the Springbok squad.

“I’m really excited. I’m in a very good space where my rugby is concerned, so I’m excited to get my first experience in the Springbok squad,” Nkosi told MyPlayers. “I hope to soak in as much as I can… learning about the culture and getting advice from the players around me.

“I’m making the most of the opportunities that come my way. I enjoyed my time during Super Rugby, where I learned a lot, while the Currie Cup has been really great too. The tournament is really competitive this season as anybody can win on their day.”

While Nkosi has impressed on attack and defence, pundits and fans have raved about the X-factor he brings to the field. While he’s scored many tries, he’s also created important attacking momentum for the Sharks and created plenty of scoring opportunities with his strong ball-carrying.

However, the speedster said he’s been focusing a lot on his basics, which he wants to continue improving.

“I’m happy with my form at the moment. I’d always like to offer something special on the field, while I really enjoy the defensive side of the game too. But there’s always room for improvement,” said Nkosi. “I’ve focused a lot on the fundamentals and basics. I’ve been working very hard with the coaches to improve my game and to strengthen the areas that need attention.

“My coaches at the Sharks have added a lot of influence and they’re working hard with me at training. My aim is to be consistent and to continue improving week in and week out.”

Nkosi said he’s enjoying life in Durban, where he’s been based with the Sharks since finishing school at Jeppe Boys’ in Johannesburg in 2014.

“I was born in Mpumalanga and spent most of my life in Gauteng, but Durban is my new home. I enjoy travelling, but there’s always a special feeling when I return to Durban,” said Nkosi.

“With regards to rugby, I’m surrounded by an exciting squad of players and coaches, who create a positive environment. We’re growing as a team and building a great culture as we want to steer the union to future success as a unit.”

Off the field, Nkosi is following in his mother’s footsteps as he’s dedicated time to his studies.

“While your schedule does get busy as a rugby player, I understand the importance of getting a qualification and preparing for life after rugby,” said Nkosi. “I’m currently studying property management through UNISA. It’s definitely an industry I’d like to explore outside of rugby one day.”

30-man Springbok squad for the Tests in Bloemfontein and Cape Town:

Forwards (17 players):

Uzair Cassiem, Lood de Jager, Ruan Dreyer, Dan du Preez, Jean-Luc du Preez, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Eben Etzebeth (captain), Steven Kitshoff, Siya Kolisi, Francois Louw, Wilco Louw, Malcolm Marx, Bongi Mbonambi, Franco Mostert, Tendai Mtawarira, Trevor Nyakane, Chiliboy Ralepelle

Backs (13 players):

Andries Coetzee, Ross Cronje, Damian de Allende, Elton Jantjies, Jesse Kriel, Dillyn Leyds, Rudy Paige, Handré Pollard, Raymond Rhule, Louis Schreuder, Jan Serfontein, Courtnall Skosan, S’busiso Nkosi

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