Bok star Aphiwe Dyantyi reveals the secret behind his try celebration

Aphiwe Dyantyi of South Africa kicks the ball forwards during the 2018 Rugby Championship game between South Africa and Australia at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth on 29 September 2018.
Aphiwe Dyantyi of South Africa kicks the ball forwards during the 2018 Rugby Championship game between South Africa and Australia at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth on 29 September 2018.
Image: ©Deryck Foster/BackpagePix

Springbok winger Aphiwe Dyantyi has revealed that his try celebration where he imitates tearing his shirt apart was inspired by his childhood idol and former New Zealand captain Tana Umaga performing the haka.

The 24-year old Dyantyi‚ who has scored six tries in eight Test matches of his international debut campaign‚ said he used to marvel at Umaga performing the All Blacks’ pre-match ritual with his brothers as youngsters.

“The story behind it is that growing up I watched a lot of rugby with my brothers and one of the favourite moments as a spectator is that you marvel at the haka‚” he explained.

“It was no different to me and watching Tama Umaga doing it‚ and doing it with so much passion‚ was an inspiration. I got the thing from there and when I started playing the game I took it and made it my own and incorporated it into who Aphiwe is.”

Three weeks ago in Wellington‚ Dyantyi was not overawed by the intimidating haka as he scored two tries when the Springboks handed the All Blacks their first defeat at home in the Rugby Championship since 2009‚ and he will face it for the second time on Saturday at Loftus Versfeld.

“We have been selected by the coach to be ready for such challenges as the haka. I am not really worried by it because it’s for them and we have our own things that we do to be ready and we will stick to that‚” he said.

“Individually‚ it is an ongoing process and there is room for improvement and credit must go to the team and the coaching staff because they have been helping me to settle.

“Playing for the national team you can never be comfortable‚ I am just excited for every opportunity that comes my way and looking forward to improving myself‚ hopefully making the country proud.

“The All Blacks‚ as we all know‚ are the No.1 team in the world and they are not there by fluke.”

Because of his meteoric rise‚ Dyantyi is often compared to former Bok winger and legend Bryan Habana and he says the comparison is flattering even though he is working on creating his own path and history.

“To be honest‚ I am flattered to be compared to Bryan Habana. He is a legend in his own right. He has proved himself year after year on the biggest stage.

“To be compared to such a guy is truly amazing but I am Aphiwe and at the end of the day I am trying to make my own path and create my own history.

“At the moment I am just enjoying playing rugby because I am privileged to represent my country while God still allows me‚” he said.

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