Bok break as star winger gets the call
For a young man who is about to make his Springbok debut, S’busiso Nkosi does not appear to have the demeanour of someone burdened by the enormity of the occasion.
Bok coach Rassie Erasmus yesterday named the 22-year-old Sharks right winger in the starting lineup as one of three debutants – the others are Lions left-winger Aphiwe Dyantyi and Bulls lock RG Snyman – who will face England at Ellis Park Stadium tomorrow.
Nkosi is one of the eight black players in the starting lineup to be led by Siya Kolisi, who will become the first black African skipper of the Springboks.
Nkosi faced the media at the team’s base at Montecasino in Johannesburg yesterday and said he was not feeling any nerves ahead of the encounter and was just happy to finally get the honour and privilege of realising his childhood dream of representing his country.
“I am not nervous but more excited than anything,” he said with a smile.“I am confident in the players that are surrounding me because they bring confidence to me.
“We are well prepared.
“There is a lot of attention to detail and I am not feeling any nerves as yet.
“Ellis Park is a special stadium in South African rugby and it is even more special to me because that’s where it started for me playing in the Lions junior ranks.”
Nkosi, who has been one of the few shining lights in an inconsistent Super Rugby campaign for the Sharks, gave credit to his mother Constance who has been supportive throughout his career.
“I have two younger siblings in my brother Sanele and sister Lindelwa, and my mom Constance is also coming to the game.
“It gives me a lot of confidence knowing that they will be watching from the stands to see the beginning of my dream.”
Nkosi is part of a Springboks backline that includes Dyantyi, Willie le Roux, Damian de Allende, Lukhanyo Am, Handrè Pollard and Faf de Klerk. They have spent enough time discussing plans.
“I have spent all my time with them,” he said.
“It is very important to understand your teammates and analyse the opposition.
“I have loved every single minute of the time I’ve spent with them,” he said, listing Tendai Mtawarira, Lwazi Mvovo and Odwa Ndungane as some of the players he’s looked up to.
“Beast [Mtawarira] has always been great for the Springboks and his amount of passion and desire is undying.
“In terms of positions, Lwazi and Odwa have been good role models and coming from the same union I have learned a lot from them.”
The Bok team is:
Willie le Roux; Sibusiso Nkosi, Lukhanyo Am, Damian de Allende, Aphiwe Dyantyi; Handre Pollard, Faf de Klerk; Duane Vermeulen, Jean-Luc du Preez, Siya Kolisi (capt); Franco Mostert, RG Snyman; Trevor Nyakane/Wilco Louw, Bongi Mbonambi, Tendai Mtawarira
Akker van der Merwe, Steven Kitshoff, Wilco Louw/Thomas du Toit, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Sikhumbuzo Notshe, Ivan van Zyl, Elton Jantjies, Warrick Gelant Coach: Rassie Erasmus..