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VIDEO: How Dayimani will smash through the Bok ceiling

SPOTLIGHT: Stormers loose forward Hacjivah Graham Dayimani is determined to stake his claim on a Springbok jersey.

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With the fervency of South Africa’s fourth World Cup win last year gradually subsiding, attention will soon turn to the makeup of the 2024 Springbok squad.

South Africa’s Test season officially kicks off on July 6 with a match against Ireland and pundits have already identified players they feel have to be on the Bok radar.

Dayimani is near the top of that list of players fancied to get his call-up.

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The Stormers star has been one of the standout players in the last two seasons of the United Rugby Championship – helping the Cape Town franchise to the inaugural trophy in 2022 and a Final in 2023.

He was touted as a Bok bolter by Stormers coach John Dobson in 2023, but the versatile loose forward did not make the World Cup cut.

However, this year could be the ideal time for the dynamic Dayimani’s maiden call-up.

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“I’ve been playing since the 2016 Super Rugby season [with the Lions] and have been on the ‘up and coming’ list for almost seven years,” the 26-year-old said.

“So this year I’m trying to change that.

“I want to be the player to watch.

“I want to break that [Bok] ceiling and hopefully I can reach greater heights.”

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The Shortcomings

Dayimani is an instrumental part of the Stormers’ set-up, possessing immense mobility, pace and skill.

Able to play in any position across the back row, he has filled in for the injured Evan Roos at No.8, and has delivered some noteworthy performances against Bulls and Sharks in recent weeks.

However, Dayimani admitted he does have some shortcomings when it comes to the physical aspect of the game.

“The past two seasons, having Evan Roos in the middle [at No.8] in the back row, I was in the wide channels [flank].

“But I’ve made a decision this year to play more in the middle [in the tight areas], because there is a perception that I [only] like being in the wider channels where it’s nice, where you can do the offloads and the fancy passing, but when it comes to the hard yards I shy away.

“So I just felt like I want to change that and make a statement, especially during big games, I want to rock up and be visible.”

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The star said he is hopeful that he can add physicality to his game without losing his pace and unique athleticism.

“There are few moments in the season where I try to be in fringes where it’s hot,” Dayimani said.

“It’s a part of my game that I’m working on.

“I think there is a perception in rugby that for you to be a good ball carrier you have to run into people and they don’t look at the metres made or defenders beaten.

“They only look at you running into players.

“And I’ve always looked at my stats and defenders beaten and how many metres and based on that though I was a good ball carrier but people thought otherwise.

“So I want to show people that I can be in those hot places on the rugby field and showcase that I can mix the two and that I am a complete rugby player.”

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