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Retshegofaditswe ’Ox’ Nche, Tendai ‘Beast’ Mtawarira rally around bullied pre-teen rugby player

Springbok prop Ox Nche. Picture: Morgan Treacy/INPHO/Shutterstock/BackpagePix

Springbok prop Ox Nche. Picture: Morgan Treacy/INPHO/Shutterstock/BackpagePix

Published Jan 24, 2022

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Johannesburg - Normally known for his hard-tackling ability and powerful work in the scrums, Springbok prop Retshegofaditswe ’Ox’ Nche showed a sensitive side on Monday as he sent a message of inspiration to a young player who was the target of online bullying.

A father of a rugby player in a schoolboy Under-12 side in England, Mark Pugsley, said he had been on the receiving end of an insult from a Facebook user. Pugsley had posted a picture of his son Alfie during a game, only for the Facebook user to make an inappropriate comment about the young boy’s weight.

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Pugsley explained the incident on twitter, with the post going viral.

Nche was among the high profile players to send a message of inspiration to Alfie as he said: “Hi Alfie ! Happy to see you take part in the beautiful game of Rugby ! Keep showing up for your games and for yourself !

“There are no limits to what you can or can't do ! The #OxKraal along with the thousands of responses below back you and that's the true spirit of Rugby!

In 2015, Nche was part of the SA team which competed in the 2015 World Rugby Under-20 Championship. South Africa finished third at the tournament, with Nche starting every match for his country.

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Nche made his professional debut for the Cheetahs in 2016, before moving to the Sharks in 2020. The 26-year-old has since made seven appearances for the Springboks.

Meanwhile, former Springbok prop Tendai ‘Beast’ Mtawarira said he too had been bullied based on his body type when he was young.

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Mtawarira said: “Big fella you have my support. I walked this road too once upon a time when people silently bullied me about my size and questioned whether I was the correct age for my age group. Keep your head high and never let the haters get to you. The game of rugby is for all.”

@Golfhackno1

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