Ross Roche

Compiled by Ross Roche

Senior sports writer

Nohamba, Arendse, Hanekom up for URC Player of Season award

The Gauteng-based trio garnered the most votes in the nomination process and the award will be announced next week in the build-up to the URC final.

Electrifying Lions utility back Sanele Nohamba, Springbok flyer Kurt-Lee Arendse and up-and-coming Bulls loose forward Cameron Hanekom have been nominated for the coveted United Rugby Championship (URC) Player of the Season award for 2023/24.

 The Gauteng-based trio garnered the most votes in the nomination process, with Springbok head coach Rassie Erasmus, the four South African franchises and local media selecting their star players of the season.

The fleet-footed Arendse, 27, has been in sublime form for the Bulls, making 15 clean breaks and scoring eight tries so far this season, but he’s also been brilliant fielding high kicks – both on attack and defence – and he’s made his presence felt with a number of proper defensive hits.

The 22-year-old Hanekom, a former Junior Springbok star, has been a revelation at the back of the Bulls’ scrum, with the young No 8 proving his worth as ball carrier and in defence, while he is second overall for offloads with 22, and sixth for turnovers won, with 13.

Nippy Nohamba

The nippy Nohamba has underlined his value as utility player by shining for the Lions at scrumhalf and flyhalf, while he has also proved himself to be a very useful kicking option by slotting 32 conversions, 14 penalty goals and a drop goal through the uprights.

The 25-year-old’s 117 points scored during the campaign places him fourth overall on the URC points scoring list behind former Pumas and now Cardiff flyhalf Tinus de Beer, Bulls flyhalf Johan Goosen and Edinburgh flyhalf Ben Healy.

Over the coming two weeks various URC awards will be announced, with this week seeing the Tackle Machine, Turnover King and Golden Boot awards announced on Tuesday, while the Top Try Scorer and Ironman awards will be handed out on Wednesday.

Thursday will see the Next-Gen Player of the Season unveiled and the Try of the Season announced, while on Friday the URC Elite XV will be named.

Next week the URC Player of the Season, the URC Coach of the Season and the Players’ Player of the Season will round off the awards for the 2023/24 campaign in the lead up to the competition’s grand finale.