Trevor Nyakane is raring to go for the Springboks’ World Cup opener against Scotland on Sunday, with the veteran prop eager to defend and lift the Webb Ellis Cup.
Nyakane has been named on the bench in Marseille, where the 62-Test campaigner will be running out in his third World Cup after making his first appearance at the global showpiece in 2015.
He featured in the 2019 edition but missed the rest of the tournament for the eventual winners after tearing a calf muscle in the pool stages against the All Blacks.
Speaking in the lead-up to this weekend’s clash at Stade Marseille, the affable Nyakane described representing a Bok side chasing an unprecedented fourth world title a privilege.
“It’s really special,” said Nyakane. “When I started playing professional rugby and playing for the Boks, I always said to my friends just one World Cup would mean everything. But once you get the taste of it, you just want to keep going.
“So, with this being my third World Cup it’s fantastic. In my wildest dreams I would not have thought that I’d make it to three.
“It was sad for me when I got injured and had to leave [Japan]. But when I got home, I tried to see the positive in it in that my daughter was only born two weeks prior to that, so that kept me sane.
“I am blessed and fortunate to have this opportunity again, and this year, the person I went home to can watch her dad play in a World Cup. I can’t wait to get out there and showcase what we are capable of.”
Zooming in on the match against Scotland on Sunday, the 34-year-old expected a challenging encounter.
“As a team and a pack, we want to be dominant in all facets of the game, but one of the key elements is to plant the seed in the scrum,” he said.
“That said, they have a very good pack and they’ll be well prepared for us. At a tournament like this, everyone is well prepared, so we’ll do our homework on their pack and see how we can impose our physicality on them.”
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