United Rugby Championship: Sbu Nkosi returns to training with the Bulls

David Skippers
Sbu Nkosi Springboks training 2021 - PA.jpg united rugby championship bulls missing

Springbok wing Sbu Nkosi.

The Bulls have received a boost with the news that Springbok flyer Sbu Nkosi has returned to training after he took some personal time off from the game.

Nkosi was part of the Pretoria-based outfit’s senior squad who came back after a two-week break to prepare for their return to action in the United Rugby Championship (URC).

Earlier this year, the 2019 Rugby World Cup winner went missing for three weeks, and he was reported missing by the Bulls during that time. Nkosi was eventually found at his father’s house in Emalahleni, Mpumalanga and admitted that he was struggling with his mental health.

Delighted by his return

Bulls chief executive Edgar Rathbone is delighted that the 27-year-old is back at training and feels his return is particularly rewarding for the people who were on the journey with him while he was away from the game.

“What a joy it is to have Sbu back amongst us and more so because we know the difficult journey he has gone through to get back on his feet,” he said.

“He returns to a family that has been waiting for this moment with bated breath and we just are extremely blessed to have him run around again.

“I applaud his bravery to want to get back up and not only that but to pursue his rugby dream yet again. He is a talented player with plenty to offer the world of rugby, and I am confident that his story now transcends rugby more than it may have before.”

He added: “His story inspires many amongst us as the Vodacom Bulls family and I hope that many South Africans and rugby fans across the globe will look at him and be encouraged to get up and try again whenever they tumble.

“Sbu has some time to spend with the high-performance team to make sure that his integration into the environment is done accordingly, but there are no better specialists in sports science than those we have working with us. So I am comfortable that he is in the best hands possible.

“Of course, there is the temptation to want to fast-track things and focus on a return-to-play timeline, but that is not important right now. We are just happy to have him with us, and as the process takes care of the business, I am confident that we will see him running out soon.”

Nkosi said he has been looking forward to his return to rugby for some time and considers himself blessed to be back at the Bulls’ Loftus Versfeld headquarters.

“Firstly, I want to say thank you. Thank you to the team, the Vodacom Bulls family and the people of South Africa who have shown me unwavering support over these last few months,” he said.

“It took some time but I am happy that I am back where I belong and that would have never been possible without the love and kindness I have received.

“The overflow of support allowed me to find comfort and confidence in that I am no lesser human being for acknowledging and accepting that I am not okay. The support I received allowed me to find my feet again and the only thing I can do now, is to pay it forward so that others can be empowered to know that the sun will rise again, even when it does not look like it.

“Rugby has been everything to me but for a while, because of life, I had lost that connection and needed to take time away so that I can find my centre again and rezone.

Very thankful

“Thankfully, the company and team, Edgar [Rathbone] and Jake [White], allowed me that time to be away, and it has meant the world of good for me, my family and my health. Not many people get this opportunity and that is not lost on me.

“I come back committed and willing to put in the yards as my way of paying back all the support I received. It feels wildly refreshing to be able to say I am back and I am raring to go! The fire within is brewing and I cannot wait to set foot in the stadium again.”

The Bulls will return to action when they host the Stormers in a URC derby at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday, February 18.

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