Cape Town – Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus had lauded the performances of wing Aphiwe Dyantyi in 2018.
The 24-year-old, who played 13 Tests in his debut season and scored six tries, was honoured with the World Rugby Breakthrough Player of the Year award on Sunday.
Dyantyi is in Erasmus’ Barbarians squad this week as they prepare for a match against Argentina at Twickenham on Saturday.
"You could see the talent but two years ago he was playing in the Varsity Cup. And how far is Varsity Cup from Test match rugby, Super Rugby and Currie Cup? We took a big chance on him in June with zero caps on the right wing, zero caps on the left wing and two caps at 13. And we said we’re going to stick with these guys for the World Cup," Erasmus told the Barbarians' official Facebook page.
"What impressed me the most about him was when he got injured. He kept on studying and sitting in the video sessions even when he was not playing and rehabbing, and he came back early and then strikes form again. His resilience through injuries and bad form at times makes him a special player."
Altogether there are 13 Springboks in the Barbarians squad - backs Damian de Allende, Elton Jantjies, Jesse Kriel and Handre Pollard, and forwards Malcolm Marx, Schalk Brits, Lood de Jager, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Steven Kitshoff, Siya Kolisi, Malcolm Marx, Trevor Nyakane and Sikhumbuzo Notshe.
Kick-off for Saturday's clash is scheduled for 16:30.
Tomasso Benvenuti (Benetton & Italy)
Damian de Allende (Stormers & South Africa)
Jack Debreczeni (Chiefs)
Aphiwe Dyantyi (Lions & South Africa)
Tom English (Rebels & Australia)
Leon Fukofuka (Auckland & Tonga)
Elton Jantjies (Lions & South Africa)
Jesse Kriel (Bulls & South Africa)
Frank Lomani (Rebels & Fiji)
Handre Pollard (Bulls & South Africa)
Schalk Brits (South Africa)
Wyatt Crockett (Crusaders & New Zealand)
Lood de Jager (Bulls & South Africa)
Pieter-Steph du Toit (Stormers & South Africa)
Luke Jones (Bordeaux Begles & Australia)
Steven Kitshoff (Stormers & South Africa)
Siya Kolisi (Stormers & South Africa)
Juan Miguel Leguizamon (Jaguares & Argentina)
Malcolm Marx (Lions & South Africa)
Alexandre Menini (Lyon & France)
Trevor Nyakane (Bulls & South Africa)
Sikhumbuzo Notshe (Stormers & South Africa)
Jordan Taufua (Crusaders)