FNB-NMMU rugby captain Kevin Kaba said he was looking forward to running out alongside players who, until now, have been his opponents when he fills the number eight jersey for the Varsity Cup Dream Team next week.
The Madibaz star was included in the Varsity Cup side when it was announced after the final in Pretoria on Monday. The team will play the Junior Springboks in Stellenbosch on Tuesday.
“It meant a lot to me that I was selected for the Dream Team because it was one of my goals when I went into the Varsity Cup tournament,” said Kaba, the only Madibaz player in the squad.
He added that the team included a number of players he was excited to be playing alongside, including Maties flank Kobus van Dyk and University of Johannesburg backline ace Aphiwe Dyantyi.
Van Dyk played Super Rugby for the Stormers last year and Kaba said he was eager to learn from him.
“It will be really valuable to play alongside someone of that calibre and with that experience,” said the 22-year-old.
“Dyantyi has also had a successful season so it will be nice to see what it’s like being on his side for a change.”
In the Madibaz’s 36-28 defeat to UJ in the Varsity Cup earlier this year, Dyantyi was named The Player That Rocks for his match-winning performance.
A third-year B Com accounting student, Kaba said he was also looking forward to starting behind what he termed a “dominant tight five”.
“The tight forwards selected for the Dream Team have been incredible this season, so it will be great to be behind such a strong formation.
“In general I think the team is amazing and it’s a dream to be a part of it.”
The Madibaz skipper said he was ready for the challenge.
“I feel our side have some really good players who could have been Junior Boks themselves, so I think we’re in for a real strength versus strength encounter.”
After returning from a knee injury last season, Kaba said he was happy to have had such a strong comeback.
“Last year I had quite a big setback in my rugby career when I tore my anterior cruciate ligament so to achieve this is quite something for me.
“I know we’re in for a tough game, but I’m really not putting any pressure on myself.
“As I’ve done for all my games this season, I’ll go in with the aim to do the job I’m there for and just to play the game.”