Ross Roche

By Ross Roche

Senior sports writer

Henco van Wyk eager to learn from World Cup winners Am, Kriel at Bok camp

The Lions centre is looking forward to linking up with some of the Bok stalwarts at the alignment camp next week.

Exciting young Lions centre Henco van Wyk is happy to have been called up to the first Springbok alignment camp of the season, taking place in Cape Town early next week, but is eager to continue improving his game.

Van Wyk has enjoyed a fantastic start to his fledgling career with the Lions, and at 22-years-old still has many years of top class rugby ahead of him.

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He is especially looking forward to linking up with some of the Bok stalwarts at the alignment camp, including World Cup winning outside centres Lukhanyo Am and Jesse Kriel, who he hopes to learn a lot from.

Big privilege

“It is a very big privilege for me (to be picked for the camp). I didn’t expect it. So I am very honoured to be part of that fantastic group,” said Van Wyk.

“I don’t think I am there (highest level) yet. There is always room for improvement so I am going to keep on fighting.

“I am very excited to learn from those guys with that amount of experience (that they have). I will just take in everything that they say and learn as much as I can from them.”

The Boks had already indicated that they were interested in Van Wyk when they selected him as part of the South African A squad that toured the UK in November 2022, where they played against Munster and Bristol, with the Lions centre taking part in the Bristol match.

He admitted that it was a tough tour, with the SA A team losing both games, but said he was happy that he could now have more time to fit in with the Boks.

“That game against Bristol was a very big step up. We didn’t have a lot of time to prepare for those games,” explained Van Wyk.

“But now I am really looking forward to the camp. I want to get to know the other players and learn from them. There is enough time to settle into the squad and learn from the other players and develop.”

Jaque Fourie

A big influence on the rise of Van Wyk has been former Bok legend Jaque Fourie, who having played in the same position as the young Lions talent, will have given him plenty of insights where to improve his game.

Fourie is currently the defence coach at the Lions, meaning he can continue to nurture Van Wyk as he grows and improves over the coming years.

“Coach Jaque working with us has been amazing. His door is always open. If you see something is lacking in your game you can go to him and he will help you any time. He will sit with you after training, go through videos and clips. So he has had a big impact on my game,” said Van Wyk.

“He was one of my heroes (growing up). So it is a big privilege to play under him. I haven’t had a chat about my selection with him yet. We are still focusing on the Sharks and we will only shift our focus to the camp after that.”

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