University of Johannesburg star Aphiwe Dyantyi was selected for the Varsity Cup Dream Team this week after making the switch from wing to inside centre.
The change resulted in a standout Varsity Cup season for the young midfielder who was focussed on delivering his very best after coming back from injury last year.
Ahead of the semifinals Dyantyi had beaten more defenders (26) than any other player during the season and also made the most off-loads (19), ball carries (74) and line breaks (10) in the competition.
Reflecting on the tournament, the 22-year-old was satisfied that the move to midfield resulted in such success.
“For many, this change was a bit of a shock but I’d been in discussion with the coaches and we’d been preparing for the role,” he said.
“I was comfortable trying out for centre and it was a decision that has really yielded good results for everyone.”
In October last year Dyantyi signed with the Lions but injury a month later meant he had few opportunities to prove himself.
“My motivation this Varsity Cup season was to play the best I could for UJ, but I also wanted to create other opportunities for myself outside of that.”
The B Com marketing student said the tournament had been a perfect platform for him to show the coaches at the Lions what he was capable of.
UJ will be represented by Dyanti and Dillon Bakos (who will replace Neethling Fouche from Tuks) while Jannes Snyman and Nico du Plessis will start on the bench.
The squad to face the Junior Springboks in Cape Town was announced after the Varsity Cup final between Tuks and Maties on Monday.
The four will be joined by UJ strength and conditioning coach Jacques Durand, who was selected as sports scientist for the Dream Team. He has been with the team since the inception of the competition.
The season got off to a bad start for UJ as they lost their first two matches but an 18-17 win over Tuks proved to be the turning point for the team.
“Undoubtedly our success as a team contributed to my selection so I really can’t take all the credit,” said Dyantyi, who acknowledged the contributions of his teammates and coaches.