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VIDEO: Dweba's honest admission amid Springbok talk

IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Stormers hooker Joseph Dweba identified a couple of key areas that require attention in his effort to reclaim a Springboks spot.

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Once regarded as one of the leading hookers in the country and destined to feature in the Springboks’ 2023 World Cup squad, Dweba went through a challenging period.

After earning his first Springbok cap in 2021, the former Cheetahs forward was part of the national setup for the series against Wales and the Rugby Championship in 2023.

During the Rugby Championship Dweba made the headlines for all the wrong reasons.

The hooker caught a lot of flak for his underwhelming performance at Ellis Park in the Boks’ 23-35 loss to the All Blacks in Round Two of the tournament.

His line-out throwing was the cause for concern and it eventually contributed to him being omitted from the World Cup squad, with Bongi Mbonambi and Malcolm Marx the only two specialised hookers selected.

Following Marx’s freak injury during training in the pool stages in France, the Springbok management opted to select Deon Fourie and Marco van Staden to fill in at hooker.

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However, Dweba’s most recent performance for the Stormers seems to have propelled him back in Springboks contention, as he had reportedly been invited to a recent virtual alignment camp.

The hooker missed out on the first alignment camp in March – which was attended by uncapped hookers Johan Grobbelaar, Andre-Hugo Venter, Jan-Hendrik Wessels and Marnus van der Merwe, along with veterans Marx and Mbonambi.

“As a player, you always strive to play for the Springboks – and I will always push for that,” Dweba told reporters when asked about his Springbok aspirations.

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“However it always starts at your union.

“I need to perform at my union.

“I need to ensure I put in my scrum work and work hard.

“If that goes well I can potentially be selected for Boks.”

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Dweba acknowledges that he will be criticized for his set-piece work but reveals he tries not to focus too much on the criticism.

“As a front row, especially a hooker I will always be judged on my set-pieces, so I have been working on just doing my job.

“I try not to focus on what happened outside of the field.

“I can’t control what people say about me.

“I just have to deliver for the team.”

While his line-out throwing tends to be his biggest challenge, Dweba’s powerful scrummaging has been the standout factor that makes him one of the best hookers in the world – according to Stormers forwards coach Rito Hlungwani.

“Joseph is probably one of the best scrumming hookers we have in the country, possibly in the world right now,” Hlungwani said.

“The level of detail that he goes through with his teammates, the intensity he brings at training, his refusal to lose even one scrum at training, is pretty impressive.

“It’s something he focuses on.

“He probably doesn’t get as much credit for it, but he takes it seriously. He is effective at it.

“You can ask the props, they enjoy scrumming with him.

“It’s important in a pack, to have a hooker who takes the scrum seriously.

“When it all falls into place and you get a scrum penalty, it’s an opportunity for points.

“So it’s massive for us to have a hooker like Joseph who can help us push for those scrum penalties, giving us more opportunities to score points.

“He is one of the best scrumming hookers and we enjoy having him around.”

Dweba is with the Stormers in Wales as they prepare to take on Dragons on Friday.

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