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Fit-again Sbu wants to fly Bulls banner high

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After wearing the No.14 jersey in the thrilling 31-29 victory over the All Blacks in Gold Coast, Australia last October, it was a season to forget for Nkosi, with injuries disrupting his progress at the Sharks.

Sbu Nkosi during his time at the Cell C Sharks in the United Rugby Championship 2021/2022 game against the Emirates Lions Ellis Park Stadium in Johannesburg
Sbu Nkosi during his time at the Cell C Sharks in the United Rugby Championship 2021/2022 game against the Emirates Lions Ellis Park Stadium in Johannesburg on 22 January 2022. Picture: Willem Loock/BackpagePix

Cape Town – It has been a tough 2022 for Sbu Nkosi.

The ultimate high in his career came with the triumphant Springbok 2019 Rugby World Cup campaign in Japan, where the right wing started in the nail-biting semi-final against Wales in Yokohama.

But after wearing the No.14 jersey in the thrilling 31-29 victory over the All Blacks in Gold Coast, Australia last October, it was a season to forget for Nkosi, with injuries disrupting his progress at the Sharks.

An ankle problem was the last straw, and the 26-year-old felt that he needed a fresh start to begin his comeback to the game.

Nkosi confirmed in May that he was leaving Durban to move to the Bulls, but didn’t put a time-frame on his return to the field.

Jake White’s team, though, have been hard at work during pre-season in Pretoria over the last few weeks, and Nkosi is finally seeing a glimmer of light shining on him.

“I wouldn’t call it an injury anymore. I am almost done with my healing phase. I have started training fully with the team again, so when the season kicks off, I should be ready to play,” the 16-cap Bok wing said during an interview on the Bulls App last week.

“I want to add value to this very historic ground. I have had very historic games here myself, and I just want to carry the banner as high as I can.

“Like I announced when I came here, my blood is blue now, so I just want to make sure that that resonates from every action that comes from me.”

As he stated during his unveiling as a new Bulls signing at Loftus in May, Nkosi again mentioned how his past relationship with White played a role in him moving to the capital city.

Now it’s a case of repaying the faith shown in him, and that journey will begin in the opening United Rugby Championship clash against the Lions at Ellis Park on Saturday, September 17 (4.05pm kick-off).

“My relationship with Jake White goes all the way back to when I was in matric at Jeppe High School for Boys – he is an Old Boy there too. I guess he saw the potential in me, and he actually is the person who signed me to the Sharks for my junior years,” Nkosi said.

“I feel like he is the person who gave me the chance to at least have a rugby career. To elaborate on his prowess, his resume speaks for itself. He’s done a lot, and now we are all here at this legendary place, trying to see how we can take the legacy that’s been built to the next level.”

Apart from Nkosi, White will be able to call on a number of new signings against the Lions, such as centre Wandisile Simelane and loose forwards Mihlali Mosi and Phumzile Maqondwana, while star flyhalf Johan Goosen should also be ready to play again after recovering from a long-term knee injury he sustained on a 4G pitch against Cardiff in Wales last October.

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