Exclusive: You never stop fighting – Bongi

Bongi Mbonambi may have suffered a season-ending injury, but in the latest issue of SA Rugby magazine, he provides fascinating insight into his ‘fighting spirit’.

The March edition of SA Rugby magazine is on sale this week, and we’ve sought to explore some of the background stories you rarely get to read or hear about.

New issue: Packed with exclusives 

With this in mind, we had little hesitation in identifying Mbonambi as our cover star, with chief writer Jon Cardinelli sitting down with the 29-year-old to reflect on a career of highs and lows just before the start of the Vodacom Super Rugby season.

At the time, Mbonambi couldn’t have known another challenge lay just around the corner after tearing his hamstring in the opening game against the Hurricanes, but he has proven time and time again that he is the ‘ultimate warrior’.

Less than two years ago, the front rower was in hospital fearing for his career after being rushed there after his appendix burst.

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In this latest issue, you can find out more about this ‘scary time’ in Mbonambi’s career, and how he managed to battle his way back into Springbok contention, ultimately going on to establish himself as the first-choice hooker at last year’s World Cup.

Mbonambi also discusses his life-changing upbringing, how he refused to listen to certain coaches who doubted he’d successfully progress beyond age-group level, while the abrasive hooker also discusses the moment he was controversially replaced before half time in a 2018 Rugby Championship Test.

‘It’s a mindset. You never stop fighting, you go out there and you treat every game as if it’s your last,’ he mused upon reflection.

Make sure you get your hands on this latest issue of SA Rugby magazine, which also features exclusive interviews with Jacques Nienaber, Cobus Reinach, Inny Radebe, Hilton Lobberts and JC Pretorius among a host of other insightful features.

Magazine exclusive: Nienaber talks to us 

Photo: Steve Haag Sports/Hollywoodbets