Lions loose-forward Vincent Tshituka
Sydney Seshibedi/Gallo Images
- Dynamic Lions loose forward Vincent Tshituka, who has set the United Rugby Championship alight, talks about his citizenship fight and his dream of playing for the Boks.
- The player, born in the Democratic Republic of Congo but who has lived almost his whole life in South Africa, discusses the Springboks’ back-row depth and idolising Pieter-Steph du Toit.
- The 23-year-old, who cut his teeth playing for UJ in the Varsity Cup, also reveals whether he holds future ambitions of playing abroad and how much longer he has left on Lions contract.
Sport24 asked: How do you assess three Man of the Match awards in four weeks?
Vincent Tshituka: I can only say I’m grateful to God to be honest because what has happened to me doesn’t happen all the time. Playing rugby has opened up doors that my family and I never saw happening. Earlier in the year I sustained a shoulder injury and was out for a couple of games and I have worked hard to regain my form. My biggest priority was to get my form back, and to have been chosen for three URC Man of the Match awards has meant the world to me. But I always say that when the team performs it allows you to perform and express yourself to the best of your ability. Generally you can only win Man of the Match prizes when you win games. Us coming together and winning these games also made a massive difference. More than anything the turnaround in results was down to gelling and committing to the defensive system that coach Jaque Fourie had in store for us. We continue to improve each week and I believe we haven’t reached our ceiling yet and there is more to come. When it comes to the finer details of the defensive system we employ, we work hard on our line integrity and spacing. We get off the line but we still hold our feet and stayed connected.
Sport24 asked: How long is your contract with the Lions and is overseas an option?
Vincent Tshituka: My heart is red and don’t think it will be anything else. I have been at the Lions for a very long time and everything I am right now is because I’ve gotten the opportunity here. There is a desire to see what else the world has to offer and to test myself in different environments and conditions at some stage in the future. There is that curiosity inside of me that wants to explore but my heart will always be red and for now it remains so. My contract with the Lions Rugby Union runs until December. My agent has a lot on his plate but I always tell him that’s why he gets paid to handle it. Anything off-field, I say to him, “Listen, here’s the pressure it’s on you,” and then from my side, I handle the pressure between t
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