First up in the series, titled “How rugby changed my life”, is Bok prop Ox Nche, who reveals in his short video that he had no interest in rugby and was dead-set on making a name for himself chasing soccer balls on fields across the Free State.
“I was at soccer practice and the coach asked me, ‘why don't you try rugby?’, so I told him straight up no, that's too rough,” reveals Nche, who made his Springbok debut in 2018 and was named on the bench for Saturday’s Test against Ireland.
The bug didn’t bite initially, but Nche – who candidly says he’s always been a “chubby kid who could run a bit” – discloses that he eventually started playing rugby when they moved from Thaba ‘Nchu to Bloemfontein.
The penny dropped with Nche when he started playing against boys much heavier than him: “I realised I don’t necessarily have to become big, I just had to be able to stop the big kids coming down my channel.”
The always-smiling Nche, who enjoys sharing his love of cake with his Twitter following and has built a clothing business called The Ox Kraal, has racked up more than 130 games in the colours of the Toyota Cheetahs and Cell C Sharks, as well as 15 Test caps.
Nche’s story is one of a series of 10 videos – others include Eben Etzebeth, Trevor Nyakane, Lukhanyo Am and Handré Pollard – which will be released on the Official Springbok YouTube channel over the next five weeks, and will also be shared on the various social media accounts.