Former University of Johannesburg star Aphiwe Dyantyi wants to make the most of his opportunities after his selection for the Springbok rugby squad at the weekend.
The Lions wing, who has impressed in Super Rugby this year, was named in a Bok squad of 43, which will do duty in the June internationals against United States and England.
The 23-year-old, who matriculated at Dale College in King William’s Town in 2011, said he was ready to take his chance and to learn from the experience.
After not making the top teams in the open division at Dale, Dyantyi said he had lost a bit of interest in the game.
The result was that he was focused only on academics when he went to UJ in 2012. But after helping out in the varsity’s koshuis league, his talent was spotted and he was persuaded to turn out of the U19 side.
He said there were a number of key personnel who guided him in his decisions, among them UJ U19 coach Mac Masina and first-team mentor Werner Janse van Rensburg.
“The management at UJ was very good, but it still took me a while to warm to the idea.
“Eventually I was offered a sports bursary and as I was looking at the time for an academic bursary I thought this was a win-win situation. So I decided it could do no harm and gave it a go.”
The young star did pay special tribute to his family for their contribution to his success.
“Whatever my decisions have been, they have been there to back me and that has meant a lot to me during my career,” he said.
Janse van Rensburg said they were delighted with the recognition the talented young player had received.
“He was very raw when he joined us but he is a seriously skilful player,” the UJ mentor said.
“Ultimately he realised what his own skill set was. He has the pace to beat people on the outside and that makes him special.
“Secondly, he doesn’t shy away from contact and he has developed his defensive skills to a high level. That’s one of the reasons why the Springbok selectors have recognised him.”