APHIWE DYANTYI (24)

Destiny Man - - ED’S NOTE -

Lions and Spring­bok rug­by­player, Jo­han­nes­burg

Com­par­isons be­tween winger Dyantyi and Spring­bok leg­end Bryan Ha­bana are in­evitable – although they were re­cently played down by Ha­bana him­self on

Twit­ter. Nev­er­the­less, there are par­al­lels: they share light­ning speed, cun­ning and a “team-first” men­tal­ity. More­over, both men got their start at Emi­rates Air­lines Park (al­beit 13 years apart) and both scored in in­ter­na­tional de­buts against Eng­land. And while Dyantyi has a long way to go to achieve any­thing near what Ha­bana’s done, it’s clear that he has the tal­ent and drive to do so. Not bad for a player who packed away his boots when he failed to make the 1st XV at Dale Col­lege in ma­tric.

The dis­ap­point­ment of not be­ing se­lected for that team spurred him to fo­cus on his ter­tiary stud­ies at the Uni­ver­sity of Jo­han­nes­burg (UJ), where he ob­tained a B Com Mar­ket­ing Hon­ours de­gree and fell in love with the game again when rep­re­sent­ing his res­i­dence in an in­ter­nal com­pe­ti­tion. His ex­plo­sive pace and com­mit­ment were quickly noted and from there, it was a short hop to the UJ Young Guns, Var­sity Cup side and a pro­fes­sional con­tract with the Lions by 2016.

Dyantyi re­mains grounded and quiet about his suc­cess, pre­fer­ring to let his per­for­mance on the field speak for it­self. With­out labour­ing the point, this is an­other char­ac­ter­is­tic he shares with a fa­mous pre­de­ces­sor in the green and gold No 11 jersey.

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