Sacha Feinberg-Mngomezulu is longing for Stormers after returning to her form and talked about the impact she had on Damian Willemse’s development prior to her Champions Cup debut.
2022 was a debut year for the high-rated youth captaining the South African u20s, making his United Rugby Championship (URC) debut, playing on the South African A team and touring with the Springboks.
South Africa A suffered an injury in his first game against the Bristol Bears, which blocked the opportunity to pressure him for a Test start. However, he says the layoffs allow him to mirror his rise in 2022.
The talented playmaker hit the deep end when he replaced Rikus Pretorius with just four minutes to the URC quarter-finals against Edinburgh in his first game for Stormers.
Feinberg-Mngomezulu said, “2022 was a really special year and I got a lot from the year.” told the Stormers official Web site.
“It taught me things I would endure for the rest of my life. I have to say that the biggest learning for me was the preparation for the quarter finals and then the match day. ‘Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity’ was what I took from that era.
“Learning to listen before you speak and learn to prepare before you do is something I’ve held onto ever since.
“I’ve learned that preparation and a willingness to learn is what really sees you in your big moments and helps you seize opportunities with both hands if or when they come.”
Priceless Springbok experience
After impressing the Junior Springboks and Stormers, Feinberg-Mngomezulu earned a spot on the Springboks’ year-end touring roster and the side dealt with a half-time injury crisis.
Despite suffering an injury in the South Africa A game against the Bristol Bears, he believes he left the tour as a better person and player.
“The good thing about that tour was that I definitely left a better person and a better rugby player,” he said.
“I was so grateful to just be ‘in the room’, listen to the talks, and see the high level of professionalism in that cast.
“I learned a lot and I’m grateful that the injury came later in the lap and not earlier because what I experienced and learned in the first half was invaluable.”
Although Feinberg-Mngomezulu’s preferred position is at halftime, he is exceedingly talented at home center and fullback. His versatility, style of play and rapid rise drew comparisons to teammate Damian Willemse.
The rising star works closely with Willemse and takes lessons from the Springbok master.
“I learned a lot from Gaza in terms of versatility, consistency and adaptability,” said Feinberg-Mngomezulu.
“He is defensively hungry, constantly beating the first responder, and his energy is unmatched no matter what position he plays.
“I’ve learned a lot from that in terms of consistency everywhere and always on the pitch.”
After a 34-14 win at Cape Town in December, the Stormers will look to seek consecutive wins against the London Irish in this weekend’s Champions Cup.
They will face the Premiership club starting at 13:00 BST / 15:00 SAST on Sunday afternoon.
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Stormers: Sacha Feinberg-Mngomezulu’s article learning ‘big lessons’ from Damian Willemse first appeared on Planetrugby.com.