Springbok wing Sbu Nkosi admits his strong relationship with Jake White drove him to join the Vodacom Bulls from the Sharks.
The Bulls on Thursday announced that Nkosi will be joining the team from the Sharks next season in what could be a massive boost to their striking power.
In Pretoria, the 26-year-old will be reunited with Bulls coach White, who convinced Nkosi to move down to Durban after he finished school in Johannesburg.
Sbu Nkosi, ready to rip it up at Loftus 💥🔥 pic.twitter.com/JYLNJ7bCSo
— Official Blue Bulls (@BlueBullsRugby) May 12, 2022
After being unveiled on Thursday, Nkosi said White and he had been talking for a while and he is excited to tap into the former Springbok coach’s brain.
“I just needed a change. I am excited to come to the Bulls. Honestly, I had a conversation with Jake some time ago. He and I have aligned on certain values. That was a big motivating factor in me making the decision to come over.
“Me and Jake have a relationship that started when I was in high school and he was the Sharks coach. He was the coach who signed me to join the Sharks. He then left and had his stint overseas. The full circle of events and relationship that I have with Jake White, his work and me wanting to be a part of it, me wanting to grow and dig into his brain, have been the biggest motivating factors.”
Amid multiple niggling injuries and facing tough competition on the wing at the Sharks, Nkosi has struggled to hit the heights that earned him a call-up to the Springbok squad and his Test debut in 2018.
Nkosi said he felt like he needed to start a new chapter to get back to playing the type of rugby which earned him a place in the 2019 World Cup squad.
“It was the best decision for me. Sometimes you have to make those as a person. I felt like a new chapter was what I needed to get my career back to the Sbu Nkosi that everybody knows. I know my form hasn’t been as amazing as everybody knows and attributes to me. Everybody has a run of that and I want to start rebuilding here.
“I wanted the new beginning. There wasn’t any pressure from anywhere to make the decision. I spoke to the people I trust the most about it and, after we evaluated, it seemed a good decision to make and it was one I wanted to make.”
Despite his stint at the Sharks not ending ideally, Nkosi made his gratitude for the Durban club clear as he said they were “they were the union that turned me into a man”.
Nkosi is recovering from an ankle injury that ended his season prematurely, suffered just after returning from a gastro-intestinal virus.
However, his mindset is positive as his sidelining allowed him to reset mentally.
“I don’t want to go into timelines, but I must admit the recovery is ahead of schedule. I don’t think injuries are kind to anyone. This just happens to be my time right now. It gives me a chance to completely reset, build from fresh and use this time to make sure I am the best player that I can be when I get back.
“It is a tricky time. I am starting a new chapter in my life. At the same time, I feel like the powers that be have given me a massive opportunity to reset.”