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Tristan Leyds’ journey from UWC to international sevens stardom

As winners of the 2017, 2018 and 2023 FNB Varsity Shield titles, FNB UWC hopes their return to top-tier status in the 2024 FNB Varsity Cup competition will be a successful one.  

UWC alumnus Tristan Leyds recently made a sensational debut for the Blitzboks, scoring on the first day of competition at the Australia HSBC SVNS tournament. As the younger brother of Springbok and La Rochelle wing, Dillyn Leyds, Tristan's journey from the UWC jersey to international sevens stardom is a testament to the impact of his time at the university. 


Reflecting on his experiences in the Varsity Cup, Leyds says: 


“Some of the best memories I created at UWC are the moments I shared with teammates, playing alongside schoolmates and guys whom I shared the field with during Currie Cup games and age group provincial games. It was definitely like a reunion for the guys." 


For Leyds, the camaraderie and shared history among players created a special bond, contributing to the team's success on the field. The Varsity Cup provided a platform for Leyds to showcase his talent and build lasting connections within the rugby community. 


Leyds says it is important for UWC to focus on building the right foundation.  


"It is important for them to do well. Yes, we always want to be the best in everything we do, but for UWC, it is not about winning the tournament. What is more important is to build a solid base this year and remain in the competition." 


Leyds believes that the team's success lies in playing to their strengths.  


"I think UWC should not put too much pressure on themselves to chase the tournament and then end up falling off. I think they can do well. I believe that they could make playoffs if they play towards their strengths." 


Looking back at his time donning the UWC jersey, Leyds express a sense of nostalgia and camaraderie.  


"I would say it was nothing short of spectacular because the personnel we had in the team were players that have played U/21 Currie Cup with each other. We had a good understanding of each and everyone’s type of game. We had loads of fun during the Varsity Shield, but we were matched up at the back when we got to the Varsity Cup." 


Leyds' journey from UWC to the international sevens stage exemplifies the transformative impact that playing for UWC can have on a player's career. As the university strives for success in the Varsity Cup, Leyds stands as a shining example of the talent and potential that UWC nurtures within its rugby ranks. 


by Lyndon Julius  




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