Paschal Ekeji back in action after injury lay-off

Promising FNB Maties winger Paschal Ekeji has made a successful return to rugby after a long injury lay-off.

The 21-year-old speedster played two Currie Cup games for Western Province in 2022 before picking up a knee ligament injury which has kept him on the sidelines for more than a year.

Maties head coach Kabamba Floors, says Ekeji is a highly talented player and it would be a great pity if he was lost to Western Province rugby.

“Paschal is a good kid with a great attitude who has been here (Maties) since he left school and came into the WP junior structures. He had a three-year contract, but because he didn’t play last year it was not renewed. I think WP is making a big mistake if they don’t hold on to him. He is finishing his honours degree this year. If he moves now, he will be lost to another union.”

Ekeji is originally from Nigeria but grew up in Bloemfontein where he attended Grey College and played for Free State in the Craven Week and earned a bursary at Stellenbosch University.

Paschal also has a younger brother, Pretorius Ekeji, who is currently in matric at Grey College. Like Paschal, Pretorius is also a talented winger who has already represented the Free State at Craven Week last year and is destined to join the Maties and WP juniors ranks.

Floors likened the Ekeji brothers to dynamic loose forwards Vincent and Emanuel Tshituka, who first made a name for themselves at the Lions and have now moved to the Sharks.

“We work and develop these players from the age of 18 until 23 in the Varsity Cup. I therefore think it will be great if the big unions work more with the universities to bring more players like them through,” says Floors.

By Adnaand Mohammed