Veteran prop Tendai Mtawarira says the uncapped Lizo Gqoboka deserves his place in the Springboks squad for the fixtures against the Wallabies and All Blacks.
After an excellent season with the Vodacom Bulls, Gqoboka is set to win his first Test cap in the Boks’ Rugby Championship opener against the Wallabies in Johannesburg this weekend.
The 29-year-old, whose rise from rags to riches has been well documented, had his heart broken last year when a torn tendon in his toe ruled him out of any international action.
However, Gqoboka has come back stronger than ever and has earned his place in the extended squad in preparation for the upcoming World Cup in Japan.
‘He has been a sensation this season,’ Mtawarira said. ‘I speak very highly of him because he is such a nice guy, one of the most humble guys I have ever met.
‘He is always willing to learn and I think he has been playing so well week in and week out. He really deserves his chance and it couldn’t have come to a nicer guy.
‘I think he is going to relish the opportunity to put on the Springbok jersey when it comes.’
Photo: Steve Haag/Gallo