UJ fullback Odwa Nkunjana says Springbok superstar Aphiwe Dyantyi has served as an inspirational mentor to him.
The youngster, who came through the ranks of the UJ Young Guns setup, has relished the opportunity to play in the Varsity Cup this season, which has seen him bag five tries.
Blessed with blistering pace and possessing tactical nuance, Nkunjana has been likened to Dyantyi, who excelled for UJ before going on to star for the Lions and Springboks, while also scooping the World Rugby Breakthrough Player of the Year in 2018.
Nkunjana said there was no doubt that Dyantyi was a player he hoped to emulate one day.
‘He’s my inspiration because since I got to UJ, he has been a mentor to me. He used to teach me what he knows about rugby and he would guide me at sevens and 15-man rugby.’
However, Nkunjana wants to write his own history, and hopes that the Varsity Cup will serve as a stepping stone to joining the Springbok Sevens setup.
‘I’m very happy because I’ve reached my goal to play for the Varsity Cup team and I’m humbled that I’m playing there. My goal for this year is to be the top try-scorer for UJ, and I also want to go play for the Springbok Sevens Academy Team.’
Photo: Christiaan Kotze/SASPA