Ross Roche
Senior sports writer
2 minute read
6 Jan 2022
2:53 pm

Gqoboka ready to put 2021 injury-hit season behind him

Ross Roche

The Bulls prop will look to step into the shoes vacated by Trevor Nyakane, who is now playing his rugby in France.

Prop LIzo Gqoboka is hoping for a better 2022 after an injury-impacted 2021 season. Picture: Gallo Images

After an injury impacted 2021 Bulls prop Lizo Gqoboka is targeting big things in 2022 as he looks to reignite his rugby career with a big season.

Gqoboka has found himself on the fringes of the Springbok squad over the past few years, but has seen his progress stunted by injuries, including last year when he struggled to get in a decent run of games, however, he hopes to have put those woes behind him now.

“In terms of rugby, the past year was not too good,” said Gqoboka.

“I haven’t even played six games in a row. There was always an injury being an obstacle, which was frustrating. But those are the things I have no control over – every time I go on the field, I want to give my best, and don’t want to think about injuries and therefore hiding away on the field.”

Despite the injury concerns, Gqoboka continued to learn off the field and will look to put those lessons to good use this year.

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“I’ve learnt a lot though off the field. Watching the guys play and the way the coaches coach – the changes, the new guys coming in from other unions and overseas. Just being in the team has taught me a lot because here, even if you are injured, you still go to the meetings,” explained Gqoboka.

 “You don’t feel like you are on the outside. You are always involved. Hopefully the injuries are a thing of the past.

 “It’s something you don’t plan and it’s out of your control. We are quite professional in the sense that we have prehab – injury prevention programmes here at the Bulls.”

With the Bulls set to get their United Rugby Championship campaign back under way later this month by hosting the Stormers, Gqoboka will hope to make a big statement as he has big shoes to fill as he looks to become a long term replacement for Bok Trevor Nyakane who left for Racing 92 last month.

Gqoboka stepped in to fill the tighthead prop void against the Sharks in the Bulls’ last URC match and he is eager to make the switch permanent after he had started his career as a tighthead before switching to loosehead.