Ox inspires the next generation
SPOTLIGHT: Sharks loosehead prop Ntuthuko Mchunu says his teammate Ox Nche has been an inspiring figure this year.
Nche finally added to his first Test cap he earned back in 2018 when he started in the Springboks 40-9 victory against Georgia in early July.
He was then given the No.1 jersey for the first Test against the British and Irish Lions, which the Boks lost 17-22.
Nche put in strong performances in both those games and he has become an example of what is possible for Mchunu, who at the age of 22 has raised eyebrows with his performances.
“He [Nche] has been very consistent over the years,” said Mchunu.
“I am glad that I have someone like him at the Sharks. He is very good at being able to scrum really well and being able to link up with the backs.
“I am still learning as it is my first year. I am just happy being around someone like that – someone who has now made the step up to Springbok rugby and made it look quite easy.
“I am so happy to have him around and just to rub shoulders with him.
“He is a great guy off the field and he is always keen to listen and give advice.
“He is someone who made the dream to be there in the green and gold possible just through his hard work and the way he applies himself to the game.”
‘The real deal’
In March this year, Springbok legend Tendai Mtawarira labelled Mchunu as the “real deal” after an outstanding performance against the Lions in the Preparation Series.
Mchunu scored a sensational try in his team’s 40-43 loss at Ellis Park that day.
Wow 🤩 this guy is the real deal 😱. Absolutely love it 🙌🏽. https://t.co/bXZicFHwDC
— Tendai Mtawarira (@Beast_TM) March 20, 2021
The youngster said Mtawarira’s message gave him a lot of confidence going forward.
“I only saw that message from Beast a couple of days later. When I made the move [from the back row] to loosehead prop he was definitely someone I looked up to and to hear those words from him was a good step in the right direction.
“I took a lot of confidence out of that. He has been like a mentor for me so far.
“Being here at the Sharks has been an unbelievable experience, progressing from junior levels to the seniors.
“The coaches have been great, and the environment has been great and that has allowed me to progress and be where I am now,” Mchunu added.