John Dobson says Blitzbok and Stormers flyer Seabelo Senatla is determined to prove himself worthy of Springbok selection next season. DYLAN JACK reports.
The former Junior Springbok wing made his name on the World Sevens Series circuit, turning into a Blitzbok great at an early age by scoring 224 tries in 203 matches – sitting fourth overall on the top try-scorers in sevens history. He is also a Commonwealth Games gold medallist with the Blitzboks and a bronze medallist from the 2016 Rio Olympics.
However, after tasting as much success as he could in the shortened form of rugby, Senatla recently turned his attention to 15s, playing for the Stormers and Western Province on a more regular basis to achieve his ultimate goal of becoming a Springbok.
Senatla, along with Stormers teammate and fellow convert Ruhan Nel, are back training with the Blitzboks and are set to play in the first two Sevens Series tournaments in Dubai and Cape Town in December.
However, Dobson confirmed that the wing would be back and play for the Stormers on a full-time basis during next season’s Vodacom Super Rugby tournament.
‘We have got Angelo Davids, Ruhan and Seabelo,’ Dobson said on the Stormers players who are also part of the Blitzboks squad. ‘Angelo is staying with the Sevens for the whole season, Seabelo and Ruhan will join us at our pre-season camp after the Cape Town Sevens. Seabelo will be with us full-time. If he gets selected, Ruhan will go to the Olympics and miss the Super Rugby playoffs.’
While Senatla has struggled to make a similar mark in 15s to what he has done in sevens, Dobson added that Senatla’s fire to make his conversion a success still burns brightly.
‘Seabelo is absolutely convinced that he can become a Springbok. That is his focus. He is actually discounting quite a bit in terms of wages to be able to do that. I hope he makes it. He is really keen.’
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