It does not matter where I pack down, says Trevor Nyakane
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CAPE TOWN - Trevor Nyakane was among the replacements who provided a massive impact to help drive the Boks’ second-half surge against the Lions last week.
SPRINGBOK prop Trevor Nyakane says it doesn’t matter on which side of the scrum he packs down as long as they implement their plans as a unit.
Nyakane has been named on the bench at loosehead prop for the series-decider against the British & Irish Lions on Saturday (6pm kickoff).
The Boks suffered a 22-17 defeat in the first Test despite a strong first half. Last week, they completely dominated the Lions after the break to pull off a stunning 27-9 triumph.
In that game, Nyakane also provided cover for Steven Kitshoff, while he started at tighthead in the opening Test. In that opener, Nyakane, hooker Bongi Mbonambi and loosehead Ox Nche produced a superb outing, with Kitshoff, Malcom Marx and Frans Malherbe replacing them at halftime.
He was just as strong last week when he came on, with the bench providing massive impact to help drive the Boks’ second-half surge. “The scrum will always be challenging, but for me it’s always about the pack,” Nyakane said. “They have, of course, swapped a few players in the first two Tests and I started the first Test at tighthead, but as everybody knows, we had a bit of a niggle here and there and I was asked to go to loosehead.
“It wasn’t about me, it was about the unity of the pack and how we were going to implement our plans. We had the backing of the coaches and I trusted that things would go well. So, for me, whenever you put on that jersey - whichever number it is - as a front row you know what you need to do and you know you have the backing of the whole pack. And I think that was the success of it.”
After the second Test, a video emerged on social media showing Nyakane’s daughter cheering him on in front of a television. When asked about it during the team announcement press conference this week, a smiling Nyakane said: “That was the position I was playing at my union and when I started here in the Georgia Test I was at No 3, so we should have made her a No 1 and 3 jersey. It was just amazing and awesome for me to see my little one watching and enjoying rugby. It brought tears to my eyes when I saw it for the first time.”