Forgot Password

 

Register

 

Create your Connect ID

This will allow you to login to all DStv websites & applications




or
Login using
x

Email Reset

 




Loading...
Loading Live Scoring...
*All times CAT (GMT+2)

Rugby | International Rugby

Fear acts as Nyanga's weapon



Yannick Nyanga sobbing prior to France's 33-6 demolition of Australia last Saturday reflected how much it meant to the flanker to be playing for France again after a five year hiatus.

The Toulouse star said that he was so happy to be back in the French fold and added that he was using the fear of being left out again as a positive weapon in raising his performance so the nightmare scenario does not pan out.

"Even once you are in the France team, you say to yourself 'I don't know how this has happened. Am I going to be able to handle it?' Now I know that I am able to handle it," said Nyanga, who will be looking to get the nod again for this Saturday's game in Lille against their bogey side Argentina.

"But this positive fear is part of what comes with playing at a high level. It is imperative to keep that."

Nyanga, who turns 29 in December, did not disappoint in what was his 26th test for his adoptive country, having been born in Zaire in what is now the Democratic Republic of Congo, putting up an effective performance till going off with 14 minutes remaining.

Nyanga, who spent five years on the sidelines because of a knee injury in 2009 and falling out of favour with France's coach from 2008 to 2011 the unpredictable Marc Lievremont, refused to support those who had commented his tears were in contrast to the lack of pride shown by the French footballers when they lined up for the national anthem.

"My tears really created a buzz (on social media as well as the regular media) despite myself," he said with a sigh.

"It is a little annoying because my feelings are very personal. I am not ashamed but it is bizarre.

"However, this debate about footballers and rugby players should not have taken place.

"It serves no purpose to stir up these debates, it is ridiculous. It is pointless to make such comparisons, to be divisive.

"It was a personal reaction (the tears). I had worked really hard for something that I was desperate to have: to wear the French shirt.

"And to play with Dimitri Szarzewski and Fred Michalak, with whom I don't play anymore (Michalak is at Toulon after a long spell with Toulouse) and who are guys I like a lot, at the Stade de France, with the 'Marseillaise' (the French national anthem), well then that is a potent mix."

Nyanga, who has won one European Cup and three French titles with Toulouse, said that he never felt bitter while he was out in the cold.

He realised that the competition he was up against was tough as he had to try and displace during the Lievremont years the outstanding trio of the now retired Julien Bonnaire, the Biarritz legend Imanol Harinordoquy and Toulouse and France captain Thierry Dusautoir, whose injury has allowed him back into the squad.

"I watched the France matches not feeling bitter but rather feeling hungry to be back in the squad," he said.

"I was lucky in a funny way as with regards to my position, there were legendary players filling it so therefore you weren't bitter and saying to yourself while you were watching the games: 'But what is he doing there? I am ten times better than him'. No you say to yourself 'I have to really work hard (to get back in)'.

"If you are not in the squad, it is because you don't deserve to be. If you deserve to be in it you will be sooner or later."

Shop

SA rugby Annual 2014
The 2014 SA Rugby Annual is the official record of the South African season and is widely considered to be one of the finest yearbooks in world rugby
R175.00
Victor - My Journey
As the most capped Springbok ever, Victor Matfield is a national hero who transcends rugby provincialism and has fans across the world
R198.44
The Poisoned Chalice
The Springboks have had several post-isolation coaches, and if they agree on nothing else, they will concur that everyone in the job suffers enormous pressure
R157.00
Coach - Marco Botha
At 34, Heyneke Meyer was fired as head coach of a Super Rugby team for the second time
R110.00


Comments

More expert analysis and opinion from Sport24
The opinions expressed by Sport24 experts and bloggers are theirs alone, and do not necessarily represent those of SuperSport

Live Video Streaming

Pre Season Friendly - Liverpool v Roma
Gymnastics - Artistic: Men's Team Final And Individual Qualification Session 3
Hockey - Men: Wales V South Africa
In And Around Glasgow - Ep 22

Sports Talk



Tony Johnson
Winning means rising above adversity
Winning a big rugby tournament is usually about the ability of a team to produce its best in the...

Brenden Nel
Time for Sevens to up the ante
Sunday night’s amazing Commonwealth Games win by the South African Sevens team has only served to...

Gavin Rich
A flawed plan
A third-place finish, a semifinal exit and the South African conference title may, to some, be fair...

Brendan Venter
A clash of contrasts
Prior to our 1995 World Cup-winning campaign, the late Kitch Christie told us during one particular...

Super Wrap
It's a Wrap, and a Super one at that
Only one side in a six-team playoff series and the rest of our teams comfortably in the bottom half...