Blitzboks youngster Muller du Plessis says he cannot wait to get back on to the field in the final two tournaments of the Sevens Series in London and Paris.
The 19-year-old speedster started the season with a bang, scoring a hat-trick of tries against Fiji in Dubai, but things went sour after that. He got injured in their opening game in Cape Town a week later, and also missed the tournaments in Hamilton and Sydney.
Du Plessis was named as a travelling reserve for the tournament in Las Vegas, where he got some game time before a solid contribution in Vancouver, where the Blitzboks delivered a superb performance to win the Canada Sevens for the first time. In his 13 matches up to then, he scored 10 tries.
A shoe-in for the tournaments in Hong Kong and Singapore, Du Plessis pulled up with a leg injury in the week leading up to their departure for the Far East, and as a result he again missed out. But this week in London, Du Plessis is fit and ready.
‘There is a good feeling among the guys – we trained well, are in good spirits and a good space and everyone is looking forward to the weekend,’ Du Plessis said.
‘Doing rehab instead of playing is never the first option. It does give you time, though, to work on certain elements of your game and get the body strong again. I was itching to play and was ecstatic to hear that I was selected.’
Du Plessis enjoys London and Twickenham and is keen to get going on Saturday, when the Blitzboks face Japan, Canada and Argentina in Pool A of the event.
‘I play in a position where the competition is fierce. Shakes’ [Siviwe Soyizwapi] had an outstanding year so far, while Angelo [Davids] and Mfundo [Ndhlovu] also enjoyed good runs when they played.
‘But the good thing is that we really push each other in training, which brings out the best in you. I was fortunate enough to make the team this time, so I will do my best not to disappoint the trust coach Neil [Powell] showed. Also, playing for the guys in this squad, you cannot but give your best, as you know they will be doing the same for you.
‘I am healthy now and keen to go out and play and that is the same across the squad. We are looking forward to this weekend.’
The Blitzboks will be looking to secure fourth place, and by so doing will automatically qualify for the 2020 Olympic Games. They are currently ahead of fifth-placed England by 14 points.
Blitzboks squad – Ryan Oosthuizen, Sako Makata, Impi Visser, Kurt-Lee Arendse, Werner Kok, JC Pretorius, Branco du Preez, Selvyn Davids, Justin Geduld, Stedman Gans, Siviwe Soyizwapi, Muller du Plessis, Philip Snyman.
Photo: Gallo Images