The Rugby World Cup winner, whose participation in the global showpiece in Japan two years ago was cut short due to injury, joined the national squad in Bloemfontein on Sunday, and he wasted no time getting into the thick of things at their first few training sessions on Monday and Tuesday.
“It is all about me trying to push myself as hard as I can, so when the time comes for the coaches to make a decision (on the Test squad), we can make it as hard as possible for them to pick from any of us,” said Nyakane, who has worn the Green and Gold in 42 Tests since 2013.
“I am focusing and trying to get as much information as I can while we try to prepare for the Castle Lager Lions Series.”
With some healthy competition in the front row in Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber’s 46-man squad, Nyakane said his only concern was earning a place in the Test squad regardless of what role he would play.
“We all want to wear the jersey - it’s always an honour whether it is from the bench or not,” said Nyakane.
“There’s a bit of a difference because when you start a game you get the chance to go with the game and kind of dictate the pace, whereas when you come off the bench you need to bring a different kind of energy because you need to inject that spark into the team.
“For me at this point in time, however, I just want to try to make the squad, and whether it is starting or playing off the bench, it doesn’t matter, as long as I can go out there and express myself and represent my country as well as I can.”
Nyakane was excited to make the transition from representing the Vodacom Bulls in the PRO14 Rainbow Cup SA competition to the Springbok team after assisting his team-mates to a 34-22 victory against the Cell C Sharks which secured them a place in the ‘North v South’ Final against Benetton in Treviso.
“It was good to be in Durban and to help the Bulls try to get into a final, but when you come to the Springboks it is a completely different environment," he said.
“You need to step up to the quality of the players that are here. We had our first few training sessions so I’m settling in.
“The excitement, fun and energy is there so it is a different mindset because we are here in a camp trying to prepare for something of this magnitude.
“I’ve been enjoying it, and it’s good to be back and to have this opportunity.”
The Springboks will face Georgia in back-to-back Tests on Friday 2 and 9 July, before lining up against the British & Irish Lions on Saturday, 24 and 31 July, and 7 August respectively.