Blitzboks captain Siviwe Soyizwapi has welcomed the opportunity to set the record straight when he leads out a youthful side in this weekend’s Cape Town Sevens.
South Africa will go into their home tournament in confident mood following an outstanding comeback performance to claim the title in Dubai last week, and they are top of the standings after the second stop of the eleven-leg series. Backed by a famously vibrant home crowd, the Blitzboks are sure to put on a show.
“It is wonderful to have the Cape Town Sevens back in town,” said Soyizwapi. “We were very lucky to host the Sevens World Cup only a couple of months ago and were really grateful for that experience, but somehow this feels different.
“The vibe around the city is different and I think, having done well in Dubai last weekend, the mood in our team as well.
“We did not do well at the World Cup Sevens, so we have this opportunity to fix that so soon after. We owe our supporters a good showing and will have to be at our very best if we want to do that.
“The standard of the World Series is so high at the moment and every game against any team can go either way. I think it is great for the spectators and the thousands of people expected this weekend will have some very exciting matches to watch.”
The Blitzboks have largely stuck with the same squad that did duty in Dubai, with the only change seeing tournament debutant Darren Adonis replace the injured Dewald Human.
It is a team with a youthful feel to it as Masande Mtshali and Ricardo Duarttee will be playing in just their second Sevens Series tournament, while it will be a third tournament appearance for Dalvon Blood and a seventh for Shilton van Wyk.
Experienced forward Impi Visser explained what advice he would be sharing with the younger members of the squad, who will be running out for the first time at Cape Town Stadium.
“You need to realise it’s a big occasion. You need to soak it all in, especially when you run out in that first game,” said Visser. “It’s quite electric and it’s loud. You need to realise how big the stage is, but then it’s also taking a breath, coming together as a group and taking it as one of our training sessions.
“We try to simulate the same kind of pressure situations in our training sessions. There are a lot of experienced guys on the field who can keep the guys calm, these are guys who have been in that situation. It’s about realising you are in this moment, but also listening to the right voices.”
The Springbok Sevens open their tournament campaign against Canada on Friday night, before facing Fiji and France on Saturday.
Photo: Twitter: @Blitzboks