Nohamba crowned Vodacom United Rugby Championship (URC) Player of the Season

Emirates Lions utility back Sanele Nohamba was rewarded for his great form of the past eight months when he was named the Vodacom United Rugby Championship Player of the Season for his stellar performances at scrumhalf and flyhalf for the team from Johannesburg.

The 25-year-old Nohamba follows in the footsteps of DHL Stormers duo Evan Roos and Manie Libbok, who won this award in the first two seasons of URC. The other 2024 nominees were the Vodacom Bulls’ duo of Cameron Hanekom (loose forward) and Kurt-Lee Arendse (wing).

The Gauteng-based trio garnered the most votes in the nomination process, with Springbok head coach Rassie Erasmus, the four South African franchises and local media selecting their star players of the season.

Nohamba – who has progressed through SA Rugby’s Elite Player Development pipeline and honed his skills for the SA Schools and Junior Springbok sides – played scrumhalf and flyhalf for the Emirates Lions, starting 17 of their 18 games in 2023/24. He scored two tries, and added 32 conversions, 14 penalty goals and a drop goal for a personal tally of 119 points during the season, which placed him fourth overall after the league phase of the competition.

Mr. Mark Alexander, President of SA Rugby, congratulated Nohamba on his exceptional season, which also earned him an invitation to the Springbok alignment camps.

“It’s often said that there is no more space in our game for players who are smaller in stature, but Sanele disproved that assumption this season,” said Mr. Alexander.

“What he lacks in size, he makes up for in skill, heart, and temperament. This award is a testament to his remarkable attitude. Sanele adapted seamlessly from scrumhalf to flyhalf and excelled in the No. 10 jersey, catching the attention of Rassie Erasmus.

“The Lions came very close to making the playoffs for the first time, and Sanele was one of their standout players this season. He is a deserving recipient of the Vodacom URC Player of the Season award.”

Sitho Mdlalose, CEO of Vodacom South Africa, said: “We’re delighted to recognise what has been a magnificent season for Sanele Nohamba. Sanele has been a true inspiration with his exciting play for the Emirates Lions, and he really embodies the ethos of the Vodacom United Rugby Championship with his fighting spirit and his selfless service to his team.

“Sanele has taken his talent and passion for the game all the way from his upbringing in Alice in the Eastern Cape right to the biggest stages in world rugby, and now even into challenging for Springbok selection.

“We’re privileged to have played a part in providing the platform for his talent to shine and grow, and to be able to recognise the hard work he’s put in to make this such a defining season for him.”

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of South African Rugby.

For further information, please contact:
Andy Colquhoun
GM: Communications and Commercial
+27 (0) 21 928 7010
+27 (0) 82 926 0789
andyc@sarugby.co.za

De Jongh Borchardt
Communications Manager
+27 (0) 21 928 7021
+27 (0) 82 999 9979
dejonghb@sarugby.co.za

Rayaan Adriaanse
Junior Rugby Media Manager
+27 (0) 21 928 7013
+27 (0) 82 999 0022
rayaan@sarugby.co.za

Sindiswa Ximba
Media Operations Coordinator
+27 (0) 21 928 7011
+27 (0) 60 504 1069
sindiswa.ximba@sarugby.co.za

Zeena Isaacs
Springbok Media Manager
+27 (0) 21 928 7020
+27 (0) 82 357 3112
ZeenaI@sarugby.co.za

JJ Harmse
Sevens and Women’s Rugby Media Manager
+27 (0) 21 928 7014
+27 (0) 71 480 4570
jjharmse@sarugby.co.za

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