Chief writer of Sport24

  • Props, who is bigger than life, with only about five months in his career in Racing 92, is now closely watching the Champions Cup trophy.
  • The Parisians have never won Europe’s greatest club before, although they have finished second three times.
  • Nekane was unbelievably lucky after failing with an injury at RWC 2019, including a big hand in winning the Lions series.

Still a smile is rare a million miles from his face … but a Sunday Sunday in the front row of a popular springbok in the front row flashed a big smile.

The French team Racing 92, whose ranks he only raised in December, advanced to the top four of the coveted European Rugby Champions Cup, winning the 41-22 quarter-final victory over South Africa’s Sale Sharks in Paris.

They duly became the third French team in the semifinals, where Niacane can now expect a battle next Sunday (16:00 on SA) with domestic rivals La Rochelle (including Dylan Leids and Vian Liebenberg).

In the clash the day before, at the same time, the leaders of the United Rugby Championship and the Irish Jugglers Leinster will meet Toulouse, as well as another Springbok in the clash of forward Rinhardt Ellstadt, who claims their rare aftermath. 2020. 21 title success.

Nekane, who turned 33 a week before Sunday’s clash, was used as a player against Sale, breaking away from the splinters in the a minute to help push to triumph.

At the same time, he helped to snatch the number of clients born in Sale: the North England team started with captain John Ross, three brothers Du Pr – Dan, Jean-Luc and Robert – Luda de Jaeger, Acker van der Merwe and Faff de Klerk.

Just as Nyakane offered fresh legs for Racing, hefty rival Bok Connie Osthaisen provided a similar service in the second half for beaten visitors.

Despite the fact that he contacted his French employers at the already well-developed stage of the current European season, few could feel sorry for the former favorite of the “Bulls” for this sudden very appetizing blow to the main club prize of the continent.

He is remembered as one of the most unfortunate Boxers in their otherwise exciting climb to the 2019 World Cup in Japan, tearing a calf in the first group against New Zealand’s sworn rivals in Yokohama to abruptly end their tournament.

But then gradually luck came to him.

Universal Niacane played an important role in the Boxers ’triumph over the British and Irish Lions in 2021 with a score of 2: 1, first as a starter in the starting test and then as a“ cathedral bomb ”for the next two – where he powerful showdown helped score vital penalties in favor of the hosts.

He also earned himself a medal for the first time of the Curry Cup winners while still in the Pretoria books, being part of the title success in the 2020/21 season when they beat the Sharks 26-19 in the Loftus final.

Another incentive for him to add something new to his collection of medals is the fact that Racing has never won the Champions Cup (formerly Heineken), although they have beaten finalists against Exeter Chiefs in 2019/20 and twice more since 2015 / 16. .

Other SA-related players include Locks Anton Bresler (a veteran of Namibian descent who is well remembered by Sharks fans in Durban from 2009 to 2014) and Bernard le Roux.

* Follow our lead writer on Twitter: @RobHouwing

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