Although he is still working towards getting his South African citizenship, in-form flank Vincent Tshituka must have grabbed the attention of the Springbok selectors, according to Lions head coach Ivan van Rooyen.
Tshituka was once again named Man of the Match for his performance in the Lions’ 15-9 victory over Scottish side Edinburgh on Saturday. It was the older brother’s third such award in four games since returning to the starting lineup.
The Lions appear to have turned the corner after a poor start to the season and are on a four-game winning streak, which also includes a home win over Ireland’s Munster.
Tshituka has been a key contributor during this period and against Edinburgh he scored a try while also making a couple of key turnovers and working hard on defence.
The DRC-born player is currently working towards getting his South African citizenship to be eligible for a Springbok call-up. Lions head coach Van Rooyen told media after the game that, nevertheless, the Springbok selectors must have taken note of his performances.
“He is definitely in good form,” said Van Rooyen after the win. “I think his work rate off the ball and with the ball, whether it is in defence or attack, is special currently. He is definitely one of the guys that stops momentum and gives you momentum in the team.
“The way he plays and his character, it is difficult to miss him; it is difficult not to see him and it is difficult to not talk about him. I would think that in the Saru boardroom, his name will definitely be written somewhere on a piece of paper.
“He is a physical athlete and I think that sums him up nicely,” Van Rooyen added. “His speed and the ability to beat players, the ability to stop players and getting one or two offloads.
“He is a great guy and he brings a lot of energy into the team. He is just a nice, chilled character. He is special to us and I think you can see from his performances that he is enjoying life.”
The Lions next travel to Durban to take on the Sharks at Kings Park on Saturday afternoon.
— SA Rugby magazine (@SARugbymag) April 2, 2022
Photo: Gavin Barker/BackpagePix