Lions and Springbok sensation Aphiwe Dyantyi has been recognized for a superb first season of Test rugby by being nominated for the World Rugby Breakthrough Player of the Year Award.
Dyantyi, 24, has captured the imagination of the rugby world with his blistering pace down the left flank in just nine Test matches.
His most memorable match in a Bok jersey came in the 36-34 win against the All Blacks in Wellington last month, where he scored a brace. This also saw him being the joint top try-scorer in the Rugby Championship with five, as South Africa finished as runners-up.
The speedster who hails from Ngcobo in the Eastern Cape and attended Dale College, now turns out for Johannesburg-based rugby franchise, the Lions in domestic rugby.
Dyantyi has undergone an incredible journey from Varsity Cup rugby last year, to donning the green and gold, with many already comparing him to South Africa’s all-time try scorer Bryan Habana.
The other nominees are All Black prop Karl Tu’inukuafe and Ireland wing Jordan Larmour.
The winner will be named at the World Rugby Awards, which take place at the Salle des Etoiles in Monte Carlo on November 25.