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WSU captain Awonke Sondishe draws parallels between rugby and chess

For a player who only started playing competitive rugby in high school, FNB WSU captain Awonke Sondishe has enjoyed a significant rise over the last couple of years.  

 


A product of Port Rex Technical High School in East London, Sondishe, a second-year sports management student at the Buffalo City Campus, was handed the captain’s armband in his very first year wearing the All Blacks jersey.  

 

He looks back fondly on where it all started for him.  

 

“I fell in love with rugby by watching the older guys in my neighbourhood playing touch rugby, which was very popular. With time they eventually allowed us to play with them and I remember being taught by one of the older guys how to spin pass a rugby ball and from then on I fell head over heels in love with the sport.”  

 

Sondishe can indeed be referred to as a journeyman in the backline, owing to the number of positions he has played - from wing to flyhalf, scrumhalf, full back, before eventually settling on the outside centre position.  

 

Being somewhat of a moving piece over the years, it’s hardly surprising that Sondishe draws parallels between rugby and chess.  

 

“I love how the game of rugby is played like a strategic chess game where every touch and every move is done to break through defensive lines, one wave of attack after the other. I just simply love the artistry, physicality and flair of the sport of rugby.”  

 

Following WSU’s bonus point win over FNB UKZN in the opening week of the 2024 Varsity Shield competition, the skipper reaffirmed his sentiments earlier during the capping ceremony that the team would make their mark this season.  

 

by Thando Cezula 

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