The unthinkable has happened – FNB UP-Tuks will play in the FNB Varsity Shield in 2024 for the first time in the history of Varsity rugby. The defending champions finished dead last in the 2023 FNB Varsity Cup, failing to win a single match.
After lifting the trophy last year following victory over FNB Maties in the final in Stellenbosch (watch highlights HERE), Tuks captain Lincoln Daniels says he is not going to dwell on the team’s poor run in 2023.
“I don’t have words for this season, it is difficult to come but as a passionate Christian and a person that believes in the Lord, I believe this is written this is the plan the Lord had for Tuks. We are an example that life is a roller-coaster, we had our ups last year and now we have our downs. That is all I can say.
“At this stage, my heart is heavy so I want to move away from the negatives and the past and focus on the future. My goal is to make my Currie Cup debut and join a franchise in South Africa.”
Despite the torrid time his team had this year, Daniels finished the season as the most capped player in the Varsity Cup (34).
He made his debut for the FNB NWU Eagles in 2019 before joining Tuks in 2022. He was first recruited by FNB Wits but did not get the chance to don the Witsie colours.
Daniels says he’s been fortunate to train with the best of the best.
“To win the Varsity Cup was my goal, but lifting it as a captain is another story, I never thought I would be in that position. It is a feeling I cannot describe, lifting it in the Danie Craven Stadium, me coming from Cape Town, I had my family there, so it was just pure enjoyment.
“Varsity Cup has meant a lot to me during the years. I played with big names at NWU, the likes of Gideon van der Merwe, Luis Van der Westhuizen and Chriswell September, all the guys that when I got there were 25 years of age and I looked up to them. I wanted to play until 25 and now I have achieved that.”
by Lehlogonolo Ditshego