Tributes are pouring in for former Black Springbok, Ntonga “Sticks” Singata, who has died in Port Elizabeth after a long illness.

During the 60s – at the height of the apartheid regime, Singata, played centre for the Black Springboks in test matches against their Coloured counterparts.

Television rugby commentator and analyst, Makhaya Jack, says he played Sticks at the Walmer Wales Rugby Football Club. Jack says Singata had a natural ability and compared him to Springbok wing Cheslin Kolbe.

“Today’s rugby players are school fed. Sticks is not like them. We need that kind of player, a player who could initiate. He knew how to position himself without telling the rest of the backline. He knew how to link with them simultaneously. We are running short of those kinds of players in today’s rugby.”

Singata was also part of the Kwaru team that became the first Eastern Cape side to win the SA Cup in 1975. His two tries helped Kwaru to beat Tygerberg 15- nine in the final. Themba Ludwaba was one of his teammates.

“He was a very brilliant player, somebody who could trick an opponent out of position so that he can create a gap. He had a good grubber kick. He had speed and use to read the whole field when we were playing against any opposition.”