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Mbonambi Slowly Getting Over World Cup Final Injury

  • April 9, 2024
  • 3 min read
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Mbonambi Slowly Getting Over World Cup Final Injury

Powerful Sharks hooker Bongi Mbonambi is thrilled to be back playing rugby for the Durban side, having missed the bulk of the season due to a knee injury.  

Mbonambi picked up a knee injury in the Rugby World Cup final against New Zealand’s All Blacks in Paris and was taken off just three minutes before the game had started.  

It represented a huge blow to the eventual World Cup champions – the Springboks, as Mbonambi was a big warrior in the side and the only hooker left after Malcolm Marx picked up an injury early in the competition.  

The 33-year-old was out for a long time, returning to the Sharks in the United Rugby Championship round 10 match against the Stormers in February.  

As Mbonambi gets his fitness back, The Sharks have picked up three wins on the bounce at home against Ulster (URC), Edinburgh (URC), and Zebre in the Challenge Cup, scoring two tries in five matches.  

“I’m getting over the injury and being part of the Sharks team again, I must say it has been a good build-up for us,” said Mbonambi during the Sharks Zoom conference on Tuesday. 

“But there is a lot of work still to do but so far so good.”        

The two-time World Cup winner is set to start when the Sharks host Edinburgh once again at the Shark Tank in the quarter-finals of Challenge Cup on Saturday, eyeing the semifinal spot in the second-tier competition. 

The Sharks, just like last season, aren’t making headway in the URC, having started so badly, lying 13th in the table.  

The Challenge Cup appear to be the only salvation to win and book a spot in the Champions Cup next season to play against some of the best teams in Europe.  

“It has been a tough start for us, and everyone knows that,” said Mbonambi.    

“It is not the start that we were looking for. There were a lot of young players coming in, given the opportunity to play. Some of us were coming back from the World Cup with a lot of injuries, a lot of players having to rest up a bit, but things are picking up so far and credit to the coaching staff.”  

On the shot of winning the Challenge Cup, he said: “We want to make sure that the competition we are in is very successful. But it’s not going to be easy, especially against Edinburgh who have already played us before, and it was a tough game playing them in the URC.”

Picture courtesy of Springboks Rugby

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Robin-Duke Madlala

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