Hacjivah Dayimani determined to evolve as a player to realise Springbok dream

Hacjivah Dayimani determined to evolve as a player to realise Springbok dream

Stormers star Hacjivah Dayimani is aiming to prove his physicality as he looks to become a more complete player and realise his dream of playing for the Springboks.

The Cape Town star has become known for his impressive athleticism and pace for a big man, who offers something different to the typical South African back-rower.

Dayimani has been in brilliant form for the Stormers since making the move from the Lions in 2021 as he played a key role in their United Rugby Championship title run.

For much of that tournament he wore seven on his back but between last season and this season has regularly switched across to eight in the absence of Evan Roos with aplomb.

A player with his unique skill set has always caught the eye but perhaps that has worked against him considering how much the Springboks rely on sheer physicality.

"I've been playing Super Rugby since 2017 and I've been an up-and-coming player for almost eight years," Dayimani said.

"I'm just trying to change that, that I'm a player to look out for, and to break that ceiling. Hopefully, I can reach greater heights.

"If that Bok dream doesn't come it won't be the end of the world, I'll keep improving."

Dayimani has often been based in the wider channels during the game but is eager to show that he can do the hard yards down the middle of the park.

"Based on how the Stormers play, and with Evan Roos in the middle [of the back row], I was always in the wide channels," Dayimani explained.

"Now the coaches and I have decided that's [the tight-loose] where I need to improve because there's a perception about me that I'm this guy who just wants to be in the wide channels, do the offloads and fancy passing but I shy away when it comes to the hard yards.

"In the games against Zebre, La Rochelle and the Bulls there were a few moments where you're starting to see that I'm trying to be in the trenches, or where it's hot - as we call it - it's a part of my game I'm working on and trying to show."

The loose forward also pointed out that being a good ball carrier can be done in a variety of ways rather than with just brute force.

"There's a perception in rugby that in order to be a good ball carrier you have to run into people," added Dayimani.

"They don't look at the metres made, and the defenders beaten, they look at the physicality of running into players as what makes you a good ball-carrier.

"When I looked at my stats, I always looked at defenders beaten, how many metres I made, and I always thought I was a good ball carrier based on that, but other people think otherwise.

"So, I want to show people that I can be in those hot places on the rugby field and that I can mix the two to become a complete rugby player."

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