Henco van Wyk working hard to become Springboks’ next Weapon X

Centre Henco van Wyk has scored five tries for the Lions in this season’s United Rugby Championship. Photo: BackpagePix

Centre Henco van Wyk has scored five tries for the Lions in this season’s United Rugby Championship. Photo: BackpagePix

Published Feb 23, 2024


Having talent, skills, the X-factor and determination will always help any rugby player to reach the top, but having a mentor of the calibre of Jaque Fourie to call on when you need to further up your game is surely a spell of dark magic that should not be allowed.

It is a big cheat-code that could give you just that extra little bit, which pushes you to reach your end goal.

And yet that is exactly what Henco van Wyk can do when he finds himself with questions about his game, turning to the illustrious former Springbok whom he also shares the experience of the No 13 jumper with.

“Jaque (is) working with us as a group or individually,” Van Wyk said of the Lions defence coach at Hoërskool Florida in Roodepoort yesterday, “his door is always open for any chat.

“If you see something in your game is lacking, you can go to him and he will help any time and sit with you after training, go through videos, your clips. He has a big impact.

“He was one of my heroes. It is a big privilege to play under him.”

Centre Henco van Wyk has scored five tries for the Lions in this season’s United Rugby Championship. Photo: BackpagePix

Van Wyk’s aspiration, no doubt, is to follow in the footsteps of World Cup and British & Irish Lions series winner Fourie and reach the highest level by representing South Africa in a Test one day.

That dream got another boost this past week when the 22-year-old was named in the 43-strong group invited to the first of this year’s Bok alignment camps, which will take place in Cape Town early next month.

Van Wyk has previously donned the famous colours of the nation when he played for SA A in a tour match against Bristol in 2022.

The next level, however, is finding himself with the word ‘Springboks’ emblazoned on his chest.

Said Van Wyk of the opportunity ahead: “I didn’t expect it ...

“Playing against Bristol was a very big step up. We didn’t have a lot of time to prepare for that game.

“Now I am looking forward to the camps and getting to know the other players and learn from them. We have enough time to settle into the camp, and learn from the other players and develop.

“I am very exited to learn from those guys with all that experience,” the former Baby Bok added, “and just to grab onto everything they say and learn from them.”


Van Wyk has had a solid campaign for the Joburgers this season, and will want to continue with his good form next Saturday, when the Lions face the Sharks at Ellis Park.

He has put in some powerful runs on attack – which are fast becoming his trademark – and scored some well-deserved tries (five so far in the United Rugby Championship) and made some enormous hits in defence ... just ask Bulls centre Stedman Gans.

His performances have set tongues wagging about his potential, with many declaring that it is only a matter of when and not if ‘Weapon X’ pulls on a Bok jersey.

With the Bok schedule starting against Wales on June 22 at Twickenham – a match that will fall outside of the Test window, and on the same day as the URC final – before two Tests against Ireland, a one-off Test against Portugal, a Rugby Championship and the autumn internationals in the northern hemisphere at the end of the year, there is a possibility that he will do just that in 2024.

“I am not there yet,” a humble Van Wyk argued about his chances and his current form. “There is always room for improvement, and to keep on fighting.”

That personal resolve and belief that he can get even better might be Van Wyk’s most admirable trait, and the one that has Bok coach Rassie Erasmus the most excited.