Fascinating exclusive interviews with Bongi Mbonambi, Jacques Nienaber, Cobus Reinach, Inny Radebe, Hilton Lobberts and JC Pretorius can all be found in our new issue of SA Rugby magazine.
A new season is well under way. From Vodacom Super Rugby, Six Nations, PRO14 and sevens to the Varsity Cup, there is something for everyone. With so much on the go, in this issue we’ve sought to explore some of the background stories you rarely get to read or hear about.
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Chief writer Jon Cardinelli sat down with Springbok and Stormers star Bongi Mbonambi for a wide-ranging discussion. He reflects on the challenges he’s overcome on his rugby journey, including a serious health scare that threatened to jeopardise his ambitions of pushing for a regular Bok berth.
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In keeping with some of the ups and downs over his career, the abrasive hooker suffered a serious hamstring injury in the opening game of the Super Rugby season. Yet, you will find out in this issue just what has enabled the 29-year-old to constantly fight his way to the top.
In another must-read piece, we have an exclusive interview with new Bok coach Jacques Nienaber. His career path from physiotherapist to the helm of the world champions is a remarkable story. The man in the top job insists he’s up for the challenge.
In addition, two of our senior contributors caught up with Warren Whiteley and Morne Steyn, who have started new chapters in their careers. Whiteley touches on his injury struggles and foray into coaching, while Steyn has returned home to the Vodacom Bulls. The Loftus great is adamant he is not just back to make up the numbers as he seeks a final on-field flourish.
We also hear from another flyhalf, Inny Radebe, who opens up about the trials and tribulations he has endured while remaining steadfast in aiming to give the game one last shot.
Similarly, former Bok Hilton Lobberts provides one of the more honest interviews you are likely to read.
We look back at Francois Louw’s career in pictures, find a different view on Bok skipper Siya Kolisi and chat to new Blitzbok star JC Pretorius, who provides a fascinating story about his father.
Finally, keep an eye out for our extract from Eddie Jones’ autobiography, a review of Saffas performing abroad and there’s a feature on the future of the international game. We hope you enjoy the read!