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FNB Wits centre: You’ve got to grind to shine!

FNB Varsity Cup

Centre Luhle Matyolweni on who inspired him to play rugby and why representing FNB Wits is so special.

Matlowenyi hails from Knysna in the Western Cape. His rugby career began to flourish at Grey High in Port Elizabeth, where he was the school’s first black African head boy in 2020.

From 2018 to 2020, he played for the Grey High 1st XV and also represented Eastern Province at the U18 Craven Week and the EP Sevens team, which he captained.

In 2021, Liyema made his FNB Varsity Cup debut and won the SA Rugby U20 Championship with the Lions. asked him …

What got you into playing rugby? My biggest inspiration while growing up was Bryan Habana. I wanted to be just like him. That’s one of the main reasons I’m playing rugby today.

What’s your biggest rugby goal? To be a Springbok one day.

What’s your fondest rugby memory? Lifting the SA Rugby U20 Championship with the Lions last year.

Is there a motto or quote you live by? 'You’ve got to grind to shine!'

Any interesting fact about you? If I wasn’t playing rugby, I would definitely be fighting in the UFC!

What are you studying at Wits? I’m doing a general BA degree and am in my second year.

FNB Wits lost 27-24 to crosstown rivals FNB UJ on Monday. What are your thoughts on the game? It was a very bitter pill to swallow. We didn’t get off to the best of starts, which had a massive influence on the result. Once we started getting into the groove of things, we certainly showcased our potential as team.

Wits have won all three of their home games this season and lost both of their away games. What’s been the difference? The crowds! I don’t think any crowd comes close to the enthusiasm that is shown by the Wits crowds. It’s also very special to play on our field.

What makes playing for FNB Wits so special? The people around me. We shed blood and sweat together and fight for each other on the field, where we showcase true brotherhood.

Interview by S’fiso Nyawo

Photo: Christiaan Kotze/Asem Engage

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