Vodacom Blue Bulls wing Akona Ndungane gets another chance to prove himself for the Springboks after a disastrous debut Test against the Wallabies last weekend.
The Vodacom Tri-Nations Test will be remembered for all the wrong reasons and Ndungane will be hoping to put the match behind him as soon as possible. He has been retained on the right wing for the clash with New Zealand on Saturday.
For the dreadlocked winger though it is all still a dream, from the moment he heard the news of his call-up. “I was at Loftus waiting to see the doctor. I was extremely happy â€“ it was the greatest news Iâ€™d heard, in a long time. My girlfriend was so excited that she was almost in tears,” Ndungane told keo.co.za from Wellington.
and although the Boks crashed to a 49-0 defeat – the second heaviest loss in their history, Ndungane, who originally hails from the Eastern Cape still had fond memories.
“Most special was standing there singing the national anthem, because I have always seen other guys doing it. To finally get the chance to sing it and represent my country was very special. The capping and receiving the blazer from the president of SA Rugby was just as special.”
Ndungane will have to mark Scott Hamilton on Saturday, also a relative newcomer to the Test arena, but vastly experienced nonetheless. “I am learning a lot about my game, where to improve and get things right to stay at this level.”
The dream though is not yet complete as Akona is hoping to one day run out in the green and gold with his twin brother Odwa by his side. “He is a good player. It is something we have been talking about since we started playing rugby. We have been working towards that.”
For now though the focus is on Saturday and somehow reversing the flagging fortunes of Jake White’s once tough Boks.
By Andrew Hollely