PRETORIA – Trevor Nyakane may resemble a teddy bear but he has earned a hard-as-nails reputation for the work he puts in between the four lines.
To highlight his clout, the burly Springbok prop will run out in his 100th Super Rugby match when the Bulls take on the Stormers at Newlands on Saturday.
Nyakane played 42 times for the Cheetahs before moving to Pretoria.
Bulls coach Pote Human heaped praise on Nyakane, who has become one of the stalwarts in the side, for his positive influence on the team.
“Trevor’s a superb player, he may have his sideshows in the dressing room, but when he is between the four lines, he performs,” Human said. “He lifts the team’s spirits, keeping them calm and positive. He and Lizo (Gqoboka) are two props that any coach will dream of working with.”
Nyakane is considered one of the characters in South African rugby. Springbok teammate and Bulls captain Handre Pollard said Nyakane did not only contribute to the vibe in the team with his larger-than-life personality but also put in the serious work.
“He is a character, but he actually brings a lot of calmness to the team, and he is actually quite a chilled guy,” Pollard said. “He has his moments when he dances, and he is a great guy to have in the team, he never complains about anything.
“He can easily complain because he is an older guy, he has played a 100 games, but you will never hear a negative word out of his mouth.”
Pollard tipped his hat to the Nyakane and said the Bulls would rely on Nyakane’s wealth of experience in the weekend’s crucial North-South derby against the Stormers.
“Trevor hitting a 100 is unbelievable for a prop these days, it is not a place I would want to be playing in the front-row at Super Rugby level,” Pollard said.
“He has done it a 100 times, which is an unbelievable achievement, and hopefully we can feed off that experience on Saturday.”
Meanwhile, Sale Sharks announce the signing of Springbok and Bulls lock Lood de Jager on a three-year contract ahead of the Gallagher Premiership season.
De Jager’s season with the Bulls has been cut short due to a shoulder injury after he featured in only one-and-a-half matches during this year’s Super Rugby competition.
“It is a great honour for me to join Sale Sharks, they are a club with great tradition and high ambitions, and they are building something really special,” De Jager said on the Sales Sharks website.@ockertde