Sibusiso Nkosi ‘excited but not nervous’ ahead of Springbok debut
For a young man who is about to make his Springbok debut, Sibusiso Nkosi does not appear to have the demeanour of someone burdened by the magnitude of the occasion.
Bok coach Rassie Erasmus on Thursday named the 22-year-old Sharks right wing in the starting line-up as one of three debutants — the others are Lions left wing Aphiwe Dyantyi and Bulls lock RG Snyman — to face England at Ellis Park on Saturday.
Nkosi is one of the eight black players in the starting line-up to be led by Siya Kolisi.
Nkosi faced the media at the team’s base at Montecasino in Johannesburg on Thursday and said he was not feeling any nerves ahead of the encounter and was just happy to finally get the honour of realising his childhood dream to represent SA.
"I am not nervous but more excited than anything," he said.
"I am confident in the players that are surrounding me because they bring confidence to me. We are well prepared.
"There is a lot of attention to detail and I am not feeling any nerves as yet.
"Ellis Park is a special stadium in South African rugby and it is even more special to me because that’s where it started for me, playing in the Lions junior ranks."
Nkosi, who has been one of the few shining lights in an inconsistent Super Rugby campaign for the Sharks, gave credit to his mother Constance for her support throughout his career.
"I have two younger siblings in my brother Sanele and sister Lindelwa, and my mom Constance is also coming to the game.
"They have played a big part in motivating me and sometimes that type of support can be underrated.
"It gives me a lot of confidence knowing that they will be watching from the stands to see the beginning of my dream."
Nkosi is part of a Springbok backline that includes Dyantyi, Willie le Roux, Damian de Allende, Lukhanyo Am, Handrè Pollard and Faf de Klerk.
"I have spent all my time with them," he said.
"It is very important to understand your team-mates and analyse the opposition.
"It is also important to analyse your teammates so that you know and understand how they react to certain things.
"I have loved every single minute of the time I’ve spent with them," he said, listing Tendai Mtawarira, Lwazi Mvovo and Odwa Ndungane as some of the players he has looked up to.