Biography: Ox Nche is a powerful and versatile loosehead prop who plays for the Sharks in Super Rugby and the South African national team, the Springboks. He is known for his scrummaging skills, mobility in the loose, and ability to link with the backs on attack.
Early Life and Education
Ox Nche was born as Retshegofaditswe ‘Tshego’ Nché on 23 July 1995 in Bloemfontein, South Africa. He attended HTS Louis Botha, a less established rugby school in Bloemfontein, where he excelled at rugby and earned provincial selection at various age-group levels. He also represented the South African Schools team in 2012 and 2013.
Nche studied Geography and Statistics at the University of the Free State, where he played for the Shimlas in the Varsity Cup competition. He helped Shimlas win their first Varsity Cup title in 2015.
Ox Nche Club Career
Nche made his professional debut for the Cheetahs in Super Rugby in 2016 and quickly established himself as a regular starter. He also played for the Free State Cheetahs in the Currie Cup and helped them win the title in 2016. He was the Currie Cup Player of the Year that same year.
After the Cheetahs were axed from Super Rugby and Pro14, Nche moved to the Sharks in 2019. He continued to impress with his performances and was one of the stars of the Sharks’ campaign that halted due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
ALSO READ: Siya Kolisi Biography
Ox Nche International career
Nche represented South Africa at the Under-20 level in 2015 and scored a try in the final against New Zealand. He also played for South Africa ‘A’ against the French Barbarians in 2017.
Ox Nche made his Test debut for the Springboks in 2018 against Wales in Washington DC but had to wait until 2021 for his next cap. He was part of the squad that faced the British and Irish Lions in a historic series and played in two Tests as a replacement. He also featured in two Tests against Argentina in the Rugby Championship.
Ox Nche made it to the Springboks squad that travelled to France for the 2023 Rugby World Cup. He produced a sterling performance after coming on as a sub when South Africa edged England in the semi-finals.
Nche is dating Katya Kuropas, a Ukrainian-born model and actress. Nche is a devout Christian and often shares his faith on social media. He got his nickname ‘Ox’ from his teammates, who admired his strength and power on the field. He has also been compared to former Springbok legend Os du Randt, who played in the same position.