01 June 2018 Photo Johan Roux
Springbok Ox Nche the ultimate example says coach
Ox Nche is the latest Shimla player to be selected to play for the Springboks. He represented the Shimlas in 2015 and 2016.

Ox Nche, the latest Kovsie to become a Springbok rugby player, is, according to a former coach, the ultimate example of what can be achieved if you set your mind to it.

Ox was named in the starting line-up for the Springboks’ opening fixture of the year when they face Wales on Saturday, 2 June 2018. He will become the university’s 76th Springbok.

Jaco Swanepoel, who coached Ox at the Young Guns (2014) and with the Shimlas (2015 and 2016) says the prop has proved that it’s possible to study and become a Springbok.

“He was still studying (BSc in Geography and Statistics) last year and stayed in the hostel. Ox is a very determined young man who knows what he wants in life and seems to find time for it. He is also humble and has his feet solidly on the ground.”

Many people felt Ox was good enough to be chosen for the Boks at the end of 2016, but Swanepoel believed that it kept Ox hungry to continue working hard.

According to Swanepoel, Ox’s talent was already evident at school (Louis Botha Technical High). “We tried hard to keep him in the Free State. I remember him standing his ground as a first-year against more senior players when he played for us in the final of the Young Guns competition, which we won.”

He is one of very few players to win Young Guns (2014), the Varsity Cup (2015) and a Currie Cup (2016) title. 

Also in Saturday’s starting line-up is Oupa Mohoje (Shimlas 2011-2014). The head coach (Rassie Erasmus) and assistant coach (Jacques Nienaber) are also former Kovsies.


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