Heinz Schenk
2 minute read
12 Jan 2017
4:44 pm

Why Lwazi Mvovo and the Sharks’ rookies need each other

Heinz Schenk

The Sharks winger admits regaining his Springbok place is not a priority after a difficult past two years in the Green-and-Gold.

The Sharks is the only thing that currently counts for Lwazi Mvovo after numerous Springbok setbacks. Photo: Steve Haag/Gallo Images.

You can forgive Lwazi Mvovo for not having any thoughts of getting back into the Springbok team currently.

It’s been a bad two years for him.

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During 2015’s World Cup campaign, Bok coach Heyneke Meyer unleashed a transformation backlash after not picking the 30-year-old winger to replace the injured JP Pietersen.

Instead, Jesse Kriel – a fullback or centre – was controversially preferred.

Last year, Mvovo had the chance to establish himself under Allister Coetzee before Ireland exploited his weakness catching the high ball.

His confidence sunk so dramatically, that many believe his career needs to be re-built.

At his age, that is a bit startling.

But, as a senior player in a very young Sharks group, he has a good opportunity to do just that.

“It’s all about taking care of home at this point in time and now the Sharks are home,” said Mvovo on Thursday.

“There’s still a lot of rugby to be played and there’s a lot that still has to happen. International rugby is only being played in June and I can’t look that far ahead. I don’t want to spoil what’s brewing here.”

In fact, Mvovo sounds genuinely excited about being part of coach Robert du Preez’s new era.

“The youngsters that have come in are hungry,” he said.

“They are working hard so we can bring back the winning rugby and the winning culture at the Sharks.”

Mvovo is more than keen to mentor the rookies – the promising Sibusiso Nkosi in particular – but admits he never wants to become a complacent know-it-all.

The demons of 2015 and 2016 have made sure of that.

“I can never be that senior to stop learning from a younger guy,” said Mvovo.

“They’ve got some brilliant ideas and I definitely want to learn from them too. It’s a case of giving as well as taking.”

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