Yaw Penxe has signed a new contract that will keep him at the Sharks till 2022. Penxe, 23, initially arrived from the Kings on a short-term deal, but has impressed the Sharks technical team in Super Rugby Reloaded and the Currie Cup, and so earned a contract extension.
Following the confirmation that wing Madosh Tambwe had left for the Bulls, the KwaZulu-Natal union moved quickly to announce that Penxe had signed a contract extension.
How quickly things have changed for the Komani-born player and Old Queenian. It was only a couple of months ago when it seemed his promising career was taking a nosedive with the liquidation of the Kings, leaving him and his teammates jobless.
It was during the Springbok Showdown trials match in October last year that the speedy winger caught the eye with a solid performance. This culminated in coach Mzwandile Stick making a plea to unions to sign the player.
At the time Stick said: “With the way he played, if I were a coach somewhere, I would take the opportunity to bring him in. I have worked with Yaw since he was 19 at the Kings. I also coached him at the Baby Boks in 2017. I know he is a player with great potential and you could see under the high ball, he was very aggressive.”
“I would be surprised if Yaw will still be in PE in two weeks’ time,” Stick continued. “There will be a lot of teams after him. What is happening in PE is not nice to see and I really have a soft spot for Eastern Province rugby. I am who I am today because they gave me an opportunity, so I would be really happy to see Yaw get a deal with one of the top teams in South Africa.”
Those prophetic words of Stick came true, as less than 48 hours later, the Sharks signed Penxe on a short-term deal.
Penxe was always earmarked for bigger things. At Queen’s College he excelled in athletics. “In grade 11 I had to make the decision to choose between rugby and athletics. I loved athletics, 400m, triple jump, long jump, high jump and I also did it from a young age and even went to the SA Junior Championships. But it wasn’t that difficult a decision to make. Rugby was huge at Queen’s College and soon after I made that decision, I got the academy contract and that pushed me even more to focus all my energy on it.”
He represented Border at the U18 Craven Week and came through the junior ranks at EP. Penxe has already played Currie Cup, Super Rugby and in the Pro14.
Yaw Penxe has pace aplenty with a good skill set. He reads the game well and can also slot in at fullback. He kicks well out of hand and his positional play is outstanding. All these attributes, and with age on his side, the Sharks can develop him into one of the deadliest wingers in world rugby.