Get Newsletter

Etzebeth: Finally getting the recognition is ‘special’

REACTION: Overlooked by World Rugby’s awards panel, Springbok lock Eben Etzebeth has finally been rewarded for his incredible 2022 season.


Etzebeth, world-renowned as ‘The Enforcer’, was voted SA Rugby’s Player of the Year on Tuesday.

Many South African fans were aggrieved when the lock was not nominated for World Rugby’s Player of the Year in 2022.

However,  he has now received an accolade for his sterling performances last year.

The towering lock pipped out the tough competition in the form of Siya Kolisi, Lukhanyo Am, Kurt-Lee Arendse and Frans Malherbe for the title.

“It is obviously a privilege having my name on the trophy. I think there are wonderful individuals that have held the trophy,” Etzebeth told reporters at SA Rugby’s headquarters in Cape Town on Tuesday.

“But we all know it’s a team sport and well done to the other nominees. They are all wonderful players and so many other guys who don’t always get the recognition.”


He added: “It is nice to finally get the trophy for the first time.”

Etzebeth: Finally getting the recognition is ‘special’

The Springbok made his Test debut in 2012 at the tender age of 21 and after 110 caps the 31-year-old still has the same drive.

When asked what keeps him motivated, Etzebeth quipped: “Playing for the Springboks.”


He continued: “It is such an honour representing my country and just seeing the supporters.

“There are some new guys joining the system and it is amazing just to see how special it is for them.

“I’m lucky enough to call this my job and what a job to have.

“I always want to try to get better at it.”

It was indeed an incredible year for Etzebeth – playing in his 100th Test cap in June and now being crowned the best player in SA.

However, the big lock said his biggest achievement of 2022 was getting engaged to Anlia van Rensburg.

The pair are getting married this Saturday.

“Getting engaged last year was the biggest achievement – getting the best trophy I can get,” Etzebeth said with the biggest smile.

“And her [Van Rensburg] singing the National anthem at my 100th Test in Cape Town was special and now this trophy – I think getting recognised in a team sport is very special.”



Write A Comment