Captain Philip Snyman says the Blitzboks need to utilise the strengths of their young players in Las Vegas this weekend.
The team are looking for a big improvement, having finished a disappointing fifth in Sydney earlier this month. They are currently fourth in the overall standings of the World Rugby Sevens Series.
The Blitzboks have won the USA Sevens on four occasions, in 2011, 2013, 2014 and 2017.
‘Las Vegas has been good to us in the past, and we have developed a liking for the Sam Boyd Stadium,’ Snyman said. ‘We have a couple of new faces in the team, so we need to adapt. They bring different strengths to the system, and we need to tap into that.’
Four players are in Nevada for the first time, Impi Visser, Mfundo Ndhlovu, JC Pretorius and Sako Makata. For Makata, the only debutant in the squad, the trip is one filled with anticipation.
‘I have worked hard to get to this point,’ Makata said. ‘Playing in the SA Rugby Academy team in tournaments in Dubai and South America made me realise that I want this very badly. Now I am here and I need to make the best of this wonderful opportunity.
‘I have a role in the team and I know what is expected of me. The reward for me will be to justify the confidence the coach has shown in me by contributing to the team effort.’
Photo: David van der Sandt/Blitzboks