Having only started playing rugby at the age of 19, Lizo Gqoboka is a bit of a late bloomer.
He has also had to show incredible patience in making his breakthrough to top-level rugby, with a number of seasons at Eastern Province before getting into the big time and Super Rugby once he moved to the Bulls in 2016.
Established as the No.1 in Pretoria, Gqoboka earned two Springbok caps in 2019, but missed out on the World Cup squad, where the greater versatility of first Trevor Nyakane and then injury replacement Thomas du Toit was preferred.
But perhaps Gqoboka’s time will come this year, following the legendary Tendai “Beast” Mtawarira’s retirement.
He says of his chances: “I think every athlete, every rugby player would love to play against the British and Irish Lions. It’s such a massive privilege and such a great series… it comes once after 12 years.
“So, to even have an opportunity to be involved is a massive blessing and definitely a motivation to work hard and give myself the best chance to make the team.”