Springboks prop Ox Nche is looking to make a strong return from injury ahead of the Rugby World Cup and believes that avoiding the salad bar will help him.
The adored loosehead prop is back to full fitness after he was ruled out of the Rugby Championship through injury.
Nche was in a cheerful mood in Cardiff ahead of his first appearance for the Springboks this year as he was named on the bench to face Wales in the Rugby World Cup warm-up match at the Principality Stadium.
Hitting the ground running
The front-rower revealed that he sustained the injury during a gym session with the Springboks ahead of the Rugby Championship but is keen to make his mark on the pitch after being included in the World Cup squad.
“I tore the muscle in the gym,” Nche explained.
“But I’m excited to get a chance to play, and I want to make a good impression. I plan to take each game in my stride and just do my best.
“It crossed my mind a few times that I may not make the World Cup group because everyone was playing well, and the team was progressing nicely.
“I’m grateful to be here, and I plan to give my best.”
He added: “When you have an injury, you have to work twice as hard as the other players so that you can prepare yourself for the collisions and demands of the game, so it’s good to be here.”
“Salads don’t win scrums”
The Bok prop is a popular figure on social media for his love of cakes and quirky quotes about scrummaging.
Ahead of the clash with Wales, Nche was asked about the quote that “salads don’t win scrums”.
“I truly believe that, and that’s why Cheslin [Kolbe] is running on the wing, and I’m in the front-row,” Nche said with a chuckle. “Salads do not win scrums.”
— Planet Rugby (@PlanetRugby) August 17, 2023
But as a professional sportsman, Nche surely has to watch his calories.
“I don’t count calories, I count slices of cake,” the prop joked.
Nche revealed that chocolate caramel is his favourite cake and was asked whether he would be allowed any of that ahead of the Rugby World Cup.
“It’s too late if they decide to change that now, I’ve already had a slice during the week, so I should be good to go (for the weekend)”, he added.