Springboks Sanele Nohamba Lions

Sanele Nohamba of Lions watches the clock countdown before kicking a conversion.

Photo: Huw Evans Agency/Shutterstock via Backpagepix

Lions star in line for sensational Springbok debut

The opening Test of the year could present an opportunity for Lions star Sanele Nohamba to make a sensational Springbok debut.

Springboks Sanele Nohamba Lions

Sanele Nohamba of Lions watches the clock countdown before kicking a conversion.

Photo: Huw Evans Agency/Shutterstock via Backpagepix

Lions star Sanele Nohamba is in the form of his life, and his performances have been catching the eye of the Springbok coaches, who opted to call up the talented playmaker to the first national alignment camp of the year.

Nohamba, a product of Alice in the Eastern Cape, burst onto the senior rugby scene as a nippy scrumhalf blessed with a powerful kicking game.

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Weighing in around 75kg and standing just 1.64m tall, Nohamba’s physical frame seemed well suited to scrumhalf, where he played throughout school and junior level.

However, the 25-year-old (who celebrated his birthday earlier in January), has interestingly made the transition to flyhalf this season, and it’s reaped incredible rewards.

Nohamba has been one of the standout players in South Africa, providing a real spark for the Lions at 10. He has also impressed with his accurate goal-kicking that has always been a hallmark of his game.

There is little doubt that Nohamba has done enough to impress the Springbok coaches after displaying such consistency and confidence. But the question has been, where would the Springbok coaches accommodate him?

According to Sunday newspaper Rapport, the first Test of the year against Wales could be the occasion when Nohamba is brought into the mix at flyhalf, most specifically if Stormers stars Manie Libbok and Damian Willemse are unavailable for the Test match if the Stormers progress to the URC final. Notably, Leicester Tigers would also not be obligated to release Handre Pollard for the match in June.

It would be a massive call for the Springbok management team to view Nohamba as a Test flyhalf after only recently making a permanent move into this position, but circumstances could lead to a massive opportunity in the season opener.

Sanele Nohamba has burst onto the Springbok radar

The national coaches may also be interested in utilising him as a back up scrumhalf, especially after a recent serious injury to Faf de Klerk. However, the likes of Jaden Hendrikse, Grant Williams and Cobus Reinach were all part of the World Cup squad, and scrumhalf is certainly a position that’s well covered.

Having said that, the Springbok coaches may view his X factor and ability to cover more than one position as a notable drawcard.

A one-off Test against Portugal taking place later this year could also present another perfect opportunity to give Nohamba another shot.

ALSO READ | Which Springbok ‘newcomers’ could soon make Test debut?


Saturday, 22 June: SA vs Wales (Twickenham, London)
Saturday, 6 July: SA vs Ireland (Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria)
Saturday, 13 July: SA vs Ireland (Hollywoodbets Kings Park, Durban)
Saturday, 20 July: SA vs Portugal (Toyota Stadium, Bloemfontein)
Saturday, 10 August: Australia vs SA (Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane)
Saturday, 17 August: Australia vs SA (Optus Stadium, Perth)
Saturday, 31 August: SA vs New Zealand (Emirates Airline Park, Johannesburg)
Saturday, 7 September: SA v New Zealand (DHL Stadium, Cape Town)
Saturday, 21 September: Argentina v SA (venue TBC)
Saturday, 28 September: SA v Argentina (Mbombela Stadium, Nelspruit)
16/17 November: England v SA (Twickenham, London – date TBC)

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