After his only start in a Springbok jersey last weekend, Hanyani Shimange again finds himself on the bench for the first Test against Scotland.
It is familiar territory for the Stormers man. He has eight Test caps in two years, all of which have been earned from the bench. With captain John Smit making a return from injury, Shimange may get another chance in Durban, possibly late in the second half.
Smit makes a return to the No 2 jersey after missing out on the World XV match with a niggling groin injury. Shimange though will be as ready as ever should his services be needed.
“Obviously I’d love to start a Test,” Shimange told keo.co.za “but I have a job to do and will back my captain all the way.”
The motivation, says Shimange, is to keep trying to make that elusive step, but until it happens he is happy to be back-up to the team captain. “I am behind the skipper 100% and it must be remembered that at the end of the day being a Bok is a privilege not a right.”
Shimange had a tidy, if not explosive, game against the World XV, but then again just about every Bok that day struggled to find their feet properly.
â€œI have no control, apart from putting in the effort, on whether I play or not. And although the control is not in my hands, the motivation to achieve more game time drives me to keep trying.â€
â€œAll of us are here to do well and whether you are in the starting XV or a replacement our aim is the same â€“ to contribute to another Bok victory,â€ says Shimange.
By Andrew Hollely