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The Instagram post that brought tears to eyes of Trevor Nyakane

By Liam Heagney

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Springboks replacement prop Trevor Nyakane cried tears of joy after he saw a video of his young daughter celebrating a scrum penalty win by her dad during last weekend’s second Test victory over the Lions. The 32-year-old had started the first Test at tighthead but he appeared as a replacement loosehead in the rematch and was seen revelling with his tongue out in celebration of a penalty win with the score at 21-9.  

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His toddler daughter Skylar was watching at home wearing one of Nyakane’s No3 jerseys and the video posted to Instragam showed her bubbly reaction to her dad coming on screen with his tongue out in delight that the Springboks had just done a penalty-winning number on the Lions set-piece. 

“It was just amazing and awesome for me to be able to see my young one recognising and enjoying watching a bit of rugby, so it brought a little bit of tears to my eyes when I saw the video for the first time. She is always going to be my No1 supporter and that was just amazing for me,” enthused Nyakane ahead of the third Test decider where he has again been selected as the back-up Springboks loosehead, the position where he started his career playing but had not packed down in for five years until last weekend. 

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Jacques Nienaber explains why the Springboks have gone with a five/three forwards/backs bench split
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Jacques Nienaber explains why the Springboks have gone with a five/three forwards/backs bench split

“From a technical perspective there is a lot of different things that happen there,” explained the veteran of 44 Springboks Test caps, 39 of those appearances coming as a replacement. “Most people think that a prop is just a prop but it was a bit challenging for me to move back because the last time I actually played on the loosehead was 2016.

“I have been playing tighthead for the past few years so moving to loosehead was challenging but that being said I got a lot of help from Ox (Nche), from the guys who have been playing loosehead for the past few years. That is the nice thing about this group. The tighthead that you are scrumming against (in training) will also tell you to try and do this a bit more. As a group, we found a way to try and help each other because we all know it’s for the better of the team. The guys sat with me and gave me a few pointers and taught me how they do things. 


“Scrum coach Daan (Human) is just an amazing, passionate guy when it comes to scrumming. He knows his thing and he played there and he gave me a few points as well. I went into the game confident enough that we have done the prep, that we have done the work having been put into that situation a few times in training so I was confident enough to go out there and put in a performance. The credit always goes to the back five because they have been immense, they just give their all every single time in the scrum at training or in a game. We have got so much firepower at the back (of the pack) that we just need to concentrate on the few things that we need to get right and we always know they will always bring the head from behind.”

The timing of the Nyakane re-emergence as a loosehead might look odd given he has opened the series against the Lions as the starting Springboks tighthead but the veteran front-rower would do anything to represent his country. “If you asked me two weeks ago I would have easily no doubt have said I am a tighthead, I can try and cover loosehead but I am full-on tighthead. 

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“I still feel the same way but right now I am on loosehead and that is what the team needs and that is what I am going to do. It has nothing to do about Trevor himself, it’s about South Africa, it’s about the green and gold. Even if they put me at lock I would go, but I don’t think that is an option. For me, it is just wherever you are needed you try your utmost best to give everything. 

“The coaches are reasonable enough, they are not going to ask you for miracles, they are asking for things that you have done before, things they know you are capable of doing. I have got the backing from them and the backing of my teammates. Right now, Trevor Nekayne is covering loosehead for the Springboks and that is what I am going to do.”

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The Instagram post that brought tears to eyes of Trevor Nyakane

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