Sharks wing Madosh Tambwe says he saw the chance to work with Makazole Mapimpi and Sbu Nkosi as a ‘massive opportunity’. DYLAN JACK reports.
Tambwe made a scoring return to the Sharks starting lineup against the Pumas last weekend, after missing their opening fixtures while recovering from a hamstring strain.
It was a pleasing performance from the speedster, who also made a total of 114 metres from eight carries – the most of any Sharks player in Nelspruit – while also beating four defenders and making two clean breaks.
With Springbok wing Mapimpi on loan in Japan, Tambwe has a chance to make a statement for his place in the Sharks starting lineup.
In an interview with SA Rugby magazine, Tambwe opened up on working with Mapimpi and Sbu Nkosi, the Sharks’ two 2019 World Cup-winning wings.
‘I saw it as a massive, massive opportunity for me,’ Tambwe said. ‘At the Lions, I was fortunate enough to play among Springboks as well. Coming down, I was also going into an environment with Springbok guys. That was only going to benefit me. It was a fresh start and I needed to be positive. The only way I was going to play was to work a lot harder than I thought I was supposed to.
‘I am just blessed to be able to play with those two. It has been amazing and we have learned to form a bond among each other. We learn from each other. We push each other so hard at training because we know how good all three of us are. This only helps the union, because you have three world-class finishers in your team.’
Still only 23 years old, Tambwe decided to leave his childhood home in Johannesburg for a new adventure with the Sharks towards the end of 2019.
‘There were a lot of emotions involved with leaving,’ he said. ‘It was really tough because literally everything I knew growing up was in Johannesburg. The Lions played a big role in helping me kickstart my rugby career. Having to leave was quite hard, especially to a city I have never stayed in. I had only been to Durban for weekends to play against the Sharks. It was the first time I would have to leave and stay by myself which was a bit scary and daunting because I was leaving my entire support system behind.
‘On the other hand, it was challenging and exciting. I was looking forward to something new. I felt at the time, I was going to have to make a tough decision, whether it was then or later in my career. I felt like it was the right time to make such a decision so that in the future, if I have to make one or two more, I know exactly how to go about it. The opportunity was of too great an importance not to take it.’
Photo: Steve Haag/Gallo Images