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Aphiwe Dyantyi gets first start after serving four year suspension

JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA - JUNE 08: Aphiwe Dyantyi of the Lions celebrates after scoring a try during the Super Rugby match between Emirates Lions and Hurricanes at Emirates Airline Park on June 08, 2019 in Johannesburg, South Africa. (Photo by Sydney Seshibedi/Gallo Images/Getty Images)

The Sharks and the Ospreys meet in a historic match at the Twickenham Stoop on Friday night, as it will be the first time a United Rugby Championship match has ever taken place in England.


It also takes on bigger significance for one player in particular, as former Springboks star Aphiwe Dyantyi gets his first start after a lengthy spell out of the limelight.

Already well documented, up and comer Dyantyi was suspended for four years from the game after testing positive for a banned substance in 2019, just ahead of the Rugby World Cup.

He’s worked hard to make a return to professional rugby and was picked up by the Sharks earlier this year.


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Last week got a run from the bench against Leinster in Dublin but this season the 2018 World Rugby Breakthrough Player of the Year will be hoping to make the kind of impact he did for the Lions and then the Springboks early on in his career.

He comes in to replace Marnus Potgieter on the wing, as coach John Plumtree looks to build an attacking brand of rugby.


“The Sharks are a different looking team to what they have been in recent seasons,” said Ospreys head coach, Toby Booth.

“They’re prepared to attack a lot more, from different areas of the pitch, whilst still bringing that physicality you expect from a South African side.

“They’ve had a tough start to their season, having to travel away to Munster and Leinster, but we’re under no illusions that they’ll be looking to bounce back in this one. We’re looking forward to what is set to be a big fixture in London.”

While Dyantyi may have missed out on two world cups since being banned, watching his former teammates lift the trophy back-to-back, the 29-year-old will no doubt be inspired to play well and get back in the mix as he begins the next phase of his once extremely promising career.

Sharks team:

1. Ntuthuko Mchunu
2. Dylan Richardson
3. Coenie Oosthuizen
4. Corne’ Rahl
5. Emile van Heerden
6. James Venter
7. Phepsi Buthelezi
8. Sikhumbuzo Notshe
9. Cameron Wright
10. Curwin Bosch
11. Aphiwe Dyantyi
12. Rohan Janse van Rensburg
13. Francois Venter (c)
14. Werner Kok
15. Aphelele Fassi



16. Kerron van Vuuren
17. Dian Bleuler
18. Hanro Jacobs
19. Hyron Andrews
20. George Cronje
21. Zee Mkhabela
22. Boeta Chamberlain
23. Murray Koster



15. Jack Walsh
14. Luke Morgan
13. Keiran Williams
12. Owen Watkin
11. Toby Fricker
10. Owen Williams
9. Reuben Morgan-Williams
1. Garyn Phillips
2. Ethan Lewis
3. Tom Botha
4. Rhys Davies
5. James Fender
6. James Ratti
7. Harri Deaves
8. Morgan Morris (c)


16. Lewis Lloyd
17. Rhys Henry
18. Ben Warren
19. Lewis Jones
20. Morgan Morse
21. Luke Davies
22. Max Nagy
23. Luke Scully

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CO 222 days ago

Judging by the refusal to sub up to the WADA standards of testing he's just the tip of the iceberg.

finn 222 days ago

what has he done for 4 years? just gymming on his own?

presumably the best way to stay in form for a return to professional rugby union while banned from playing rugby union would be to play rugby league or aussie rules. did he not do this because he was banned from those too?

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