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|Nickname||The Hoff / Definite / Rockstar|
|Date of birth||14 October 1985|
|Place of birth||Port Elizabeth, South Africa|
|Height||1.93 m (6 ft 4 in)|
|Weight||106 kg (16 st 10 lb)|
|School||St Andrew's College|
|Occupation(s)||Professional Rugby Union Player|
|Rugby union career|
Ryan Kankowski (born 14 October 1985) is a South African rugby union player, who plays for the Sharks provincially and The Sharks in Super Rugby and has been capped by the Springboks at international level.
Kankowski is a tall, strong, yet pacey and skilled Number eight. He is also capable of playing as an Openside Flanker. He has a natural flair on attack, breaking the line with powerful runs from the back of the scrum, whilst he is unrelenting on defense. He is also an incredibly dangerous runner in open play. His game is reminiscent of that of Zinzan Brooke and, with maturity and leadership qualities that used to belie his age.
Kankowski was first selected to represent South Africa during the Springboks 2007 end of year tour to Wales & England. He made a try-scoring test debut on the tour as a substitute during South Africa's resounding 34–12 victory over Wales at the Millennium Stadium on 24 November 2007, crossing the line for his team's 5th try as the Springboks got their reign as World Champions of to a winning start. Although possessing the undoubted skills and talent to be a regular international, he has faced stiff opposition from Pierre Spies and the controversial Luke Watson for the Bok number 8 jersey. And with the recent emergence of the young and talented Duane Vermeulen, there is set to be even more competition for the Bok number 8 jersey in the future. As a result, he has mostly been an impact player, with 13 of his 20 Test Caps coming as a substitute. His most productive year was in 2008, when he received multiple nominations for his performances at Super Rugby and provincial level and was subsequently rewarded by being part of the Springboks Incoming Tour, their Tri Nations squad and their end of year Outgoing Tour. He was also part of the Springbok squad selected to play 3 Tests against the British and Irish Lions on their tour of South Africa in 2009.
He received one of his nicknames, "Definite", from his close friends as they believed he would definitely be a Springbok rugby player at some stage.
In June 2012, it was announced that he would join Japanese team Toyota Verblitz for six months. He would miss the 2012 Currie Cup Premier Division season with the Sharks, but would return to the Sharks for the 2013 Super Rugby season.
Awards & Nominations
- 2008 SA Rugby Player of the Year nominee
- 2008 Sasol Player of the Year nominee
- 2008 Vodacom Super 14 South African Player of the Year
- 2008 ABSA Currie Cup – Premier Division Player of the Year nominee