Kok ready to be ‘targeted’

World Rugby Sevens Player of the Year Werner Kok believes he can become an even better player.

Kok received the accolade in November, earning recognition for his instrumental performances for the Blitzboks in all nine rounds of the 2014-15 World Series.

The Blitzboks are set to kick off a new season in Dubai this weekend, and Kok admitted this was now his primary focus.

‘I put the award behind me the week after I received it because I knew the hard work still had to be done, and that I still needed to make the team for Dubai. So just to be part of it is amazing.’

Kok acknowledged that the award would make him a marked man, but said this also served as extra motivation to keep improving.

‘It puts a target on my back, they’ll look at videos and will aim to target me. But I'll just look to keep playing my own game, and so going into the tournament, I’m just going to focus on the small things, and try to be even better than last year.

‘I know what I can do, and it is a comfort, but this is another big tournament, the first of the year and there are lots of expectations of me and the team,’ he added. ‘We are defending [Dubai] champs, but it’s exciting at the start of a new season, and I can’t wait to get going.’

The Blitzboks will begin their 2015-16 campaign with Pool B matches against Samoa, Russia and Scotland on Friday.

Photo: Chris Hyde/Getty Images

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Craig Lewis