Springboks

Dyantyi fired up for Bok challenge

2018-05-31 18:20
Aphiwe Dyantyi (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Aphiwe Dyantyi is ready to embrace the challenge and to further his rugby career after being chosen for the Springbok squad at the weekend.

The Lions wing was selected in Rassie Erasmus' enlarged Bok squad of 43, which will do duty in the June internationals against United States and England.

Born in East London, the 23-year-old, who matriculated at Dale College in King William's Town in 2011, said it was "a massive opportunity" and that he was fully focused on making the most of it.

When he joined the University of Johannesburg (UJ) as a first-year in 2012, the furthest thing from the young student's mind was a full-time rugby career.

"I played in all the age-group A teams at Dale and also U13 Craven Week," said Dyantyi.

"But when I got to the open division, I was a year younger than the rest - for example, I was 15 in Grade 10 and 16 in Grade 11.

"It was hard for me to crack it and it didn’t help that I was small at the time.

"But the worst thing for me is that I was not backed by anyone and given the opportunity to show what I could do.

"After being used to playing for the A teams, I never got any further and it was something I had to take and to learn from."

Dyantyi only became involved in rugby when his residence mates persuaded him to help out in the varsity's koshuis league.

"I did play a few times, but it was purely for fun," recalled Dyantyi.

"But the next thing, UJ asked me if I didn’t want to focus more on the game and to try out for the U19s."

He said there were a number of key personnel who guided him in his decisions, among them UJ U19 coach Mac Masina and first-team mentor Werner Janse van Rensburg.

"The management at UJ was very good, but it still took me a while to warm to the idea," he said.

"Eventually I was offered a sports bursary and as I was looking at the time for an academic bursary I thought this was a win-win situation. So I decided it could do no harm and gave it a go."

The rest, as they say, is history and Dyantyi has steadily moved through the ranks, graduating from the Varsity Cup to become a key player for the Lions in this year's Super Rugby campaign.

The young star did pay special tribute to his family for their contribution to his success.

"Whatever my decisions have been, they have been there to back me and that has meant a lot to me during my career," he said.

Mentor Janse van Rensburg said they were delighted with the recognition the talented young player had received.

"He was very raw when he joined us but he developed in his own way and is a seriously skilful player," he said.

"Ultimately he realised what his own skill set was. He has the pace to beat people on the outside and that makes him special.

"Secondly, he doesn't shy away from contact and he has developed his defensive skills to a high level. That's one of the reasons why the Springbok selectors have recognised him."

Janse van Rensburg said the pressure at the next level would be intense, but his advice to Dyantyi was to enjoy the experience.

"He will have to be mentally strong because, while it's one thing getting there, it's a different thing developing to a level so you can stay there for a long time," he said.

"I hope he just enjoys the experience and learns from it because he is a player with genuine ability."

Read more on:    springboks  |  aphiwe dyantyi  |  rugby
NEXT ON SPORT24X

What To Read Next

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights

Fixtures
Saturday, 24 November 2018
Wales v South Africa, Principality Stadium 17:00
Wales v South Africa, Principality Stadium 19:20
Saturday, 21 September 2019
New Zealand v South Africa, Yokohama International Stadium 11:45
Saturday, 28 September 2019
South Africa v Namibia, City of Toyota Stadium 11:45
Friday, 04 October 2019
South Africa v Italy, Shizuoka Stadium ECOPA 11:45
Tuesday, 08 October 2019
South Africa v TBC, NOEVIR Stadium Kobe 12:15
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team
Vote

Which of the five nominees for 2018 World Rugby Player of the Year deserves the award most?

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter

Featured

The 2018/19 Absa Premiership season is in full swing. Will Mamelodi Sundowns retain their title? Or can one of Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates, Wits, SuperSport United - or another team perhaps - snatch glory from the Brazilians? Be sure to visit Sport24 for all the latest news!

Latest blogs
 

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

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