Springbok flyer Jongi Nokwe has set his sights on becoming a regular fixture in the Springbok line-up in 2009 and beyond.
The 27-year-old has finally shown his class in 2008 after initially being named as a passenger in the Springboks squad for the year-end tour two years ago.
Rugby 365 reports that with only three Test caps to his name, Nokwe — who made his debut against Argentina this year — has already broken an international record and finally earned recognition as a top-class rugby player.
But the speedster stressed this is only the beginning of, what he hopes to be, a lengthy Springbok career.
“Firstly I would like to perform well in the Super 14 for the Cheetahs and make sure I score several tries,” Nokwe told Business Day.
“The other main goal I have set is to feature regularly in the Springbok team rather than being drafted in and then dropped. I always want to be there.”
With five tries in three Tests in his first year, Nokwe is justifiably happy with his 2008 season, after he became the first Springbok to score four tries against Australia in the final Tri-Nations clash at Ellis Park.
He attributes his Springbok success to his move to the Cheetahs, after he got little recognition for his efforts at the embattled Boland Rugby Union previously.
“That [the Cheetahs] was where I got the chance to score as many tries as I could almost every week, which was good for me. I really enjoy my rugby at the province,” Nokwe told the newspaper.
“I believe that if you work hard, anything is possible.
“So I knew there was a chance I could make the national squad. I am very excited about getting the opportunity this year,” he said.
The player also lauded the Springbok coaching trio for giving him the confidence and inspiring him to grow as a player.
“Peter [de Villiers], Dick [Muir] and Gary [Gold] — the Springbok coaches — are great coaches,” said Nokwe.
“They have really helped a lot by boosting my confidence and enabling me to develop as a player.
“Their influence was evident when I returned to the Cheetahs Currie Cup team after the Tri- Nations. I realised immediately that certain aspects of my game were different.”Tweet