'Outstanding' Notshe catching the eye after Durban move
Cape Town - Sikhumbuzo Notshe was a popular figure in Cape Town, rated highly by those around him, but in seven years of senior rugby he never quite enjoyed consistent backing as a first-choice loose forward at the Stormers and Western Province.
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Born in King Williams Town, Notshe made the move to Cape Town early on in life, was schooled at Wynberg High and represented WP throughout the age group levels.
Ever since playing U-13 Craven Week in 2006, Notshe has been a part of the furniture at WP. Ahead of the 2020 Super Rugby season, though, he was one of the Sharks' more high-profile signings and he made the move to the East coast.
That journey may have only just begun, but early indications are that it is a decision he won't regret.
Now 26, Notshe has been in superb form for his new franchise in the opening four rounds of Super Rugby and he has been pleasing on the eye along the way.
"Notshe has been one of the outstanding players in our pack," Sharks coach Sean Everitt said ahead of Saturday's Super Rugby clash against the Reds in Sydney.
"It's good to have a No 8 that links well with the forwards and backs and he's got tremendous skill.
"Although he's not a physical player, he does use his feet well and he's one of our most dominant carriers but in a different capacity.
"He's got a good offloading game and we saw that in the first game against the Highlanders.
"We're very happy with him and he contributes well to the team. He is a leader in his own right. A very good signing for the Sharks."
With six Test caps to his name - all of them coming in 2018 - Notshe will be hoping that sustained performances will see him recalled to the Springbok set-up for the mid-year Tests against Scotland and Georgia.
Kick-off on Saturday is at 10:15 (SA time).
- Compiled by Lloyd Burnard