Aphiwe Dyantyi. was recently nominated for the World Rugby Breakthrough Player of the Year Award. Photo: Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix

LONDON – The 24-year-old Springbok speedster Aphiwe Dyantyi. who is in line for the World Rugby Breakthrough Player of the Year Award, says the national team is focused and process driven.

In an interview with the Springbok Online Magazine, Dyantyi  who will run out for the Boks against England at Twickenham on Saturday, said the national squad is a new group of players who have become a close unit in a short space of time 

When asked about the atmosphere in the Bok set-up, Dyantyi, said it was "very close".

"There is a very good atmosphere in the Springbok team and we are a close unit. We have learnt to be like this in a short space of time since we got together in June for the first time as a new group. We are very focused and process-driven and I think that those qualities complement our growth as a team."

Describing what it felt like having beaten New Zealand and Australia recently, Dyantyi said it was an awesome feeling to be part of the Springbok team that managed to beat the All Blacks in Wellington and the Wallabies in Port Elizabeth. 

"The Springboks have a history of great rivalry against those two teams and for me as a player, it was just so special to be part of a team that participated in that rivalry.

Aphiwe Dyantyi is tackled by Waisake Naholo of New Zealand at Loftus Stadium. Photo: Kim Ludbrook/EPA
Aphiwe Dyantyi is tackled by Waisake Naholo of New Zealand at Loftus Stadium. Photo: Kim Ludbrook/EPA

"Beating the All Blacks in Wellington was something special and then playing against the Wallabies in the #Mandela100 Test was just as exciting – I’m so privileged to be part of the Springbok team that honoured the legacy of Madiba in Port Elizabeth."

Asked if there was one emotional moment he would never forget from this tournament, he replied: "I would not like to focus on one particular moment, but would much rather describe the whole Rugby Championship as a highlight. 

"It was my first Championship and taking part in something for the first time is always memorable. I would say every game that we played was for special for me. If I look back to where I was one year ago - overcoming injury and trying to establish myself in the Xerox Golden Lions Currie Cup side - it’s amazing to have experienced what I have recently. 

"I think we did well as a team and it was great to be part of a Bok side that is growing and wants to improve."

Questioned about what coach Rassie Erasmus and his technical team had done to help him sharpen his game, Dyantyi said the main thing was personal responsibility.

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"In whatever you do, be it during preparation, training, gym, recovery, video analysis and so on you must be responsible. The coach places a lot of emphasis on the fact that we must take ownership of whatever we do, as individuals and as a collective."

With wins over England, Australia and New Zealand in 2018 Dyantyi said he gets his confidence from his teammates. 

"I have much to learn as an international player, and they are always available to assist and guide me. 

"As I said, we are growing as a team and it’s nice to be part of them and to learn and grow as we stay together as a group." 

African News Agency (ANA)


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