Yaw Penxe’s rise up ranks is an inspiration
Former Southern Kings flyer Yaw Penxe’s selection for the Springbok rugby squad will be an inspiration for all young players.
Left unemployed when the Kings were liquidated, Komani-born Penxe grabbed a lifeline at the Sharks with both hands after being signed.
After catching the eye in a Springbok trial match at Newlands shortly after the Kings’ demise, Penxe’s career took off in Durban.
It was a remarkable change in fortune for the 24-year-old speedster, who has an opportunity to make his mark at the highest level.
Penxe was a standout player at the Kings and appeared destined to reach the top.
After their World Cup win in Japan, SA moved into a new era with the selection of eight uncapped players for upcoming games against Georgia and the British & Irish Lions.
There is also the vital ingredient of experience in the squad with veterans Frans Steyn and Morne Steyn in line to experience the rare honour of facing the touring Lions for a second time.
The selection that will do duty for the first time since the Springboks lifted the Webb Ellis Cup in 2019 has 29 World Cup winners in the 46-man squad.
The entire 2019 Rugby World Cup-winning squad, except for the retired trio of Tendai Mtawarira, Francois Louw and Schalk Brits, and the injured Warrick Gelant, were named in Springbok head coach Jacques Nienaber’s squad.
The Springboks will face Georgia on July 2 and 9 before meeting the Lions in three Tests.
The SA A team, which will comprise players from this squad, will also meet the Lions, on July 14.
The eight uncapped players are Joseph Dweba, Nicolaas Janse van Rensburg, Jasper Wiese, Sanele Nohamba, Wandisile Simelane, Penxe, Rosko Specman and Aphelele Fassi.
SA Rugby president Mark Alexander said hosting the Lions would be a special occasion and a milestone in the careers of all the players who made the Bok squad.
Big things are expected of the Boks and success-hungry SA fans will demand nothing less than a series win over the Lions.
Amid all the hype for the upcoming Test battles, Penxe’s rise up the ranks should inspire the next generation of young players.
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