The Blitzboks have been hard at work at their base in Stellenbosch in preparation of the 2022 World Rugby Sevens Series, which kicks off at the end of the month with two tournaments in Dubai.

Coach Neil Powell will announce his 13-man squad on Thursday and they leave on Sunday for the United Arab Emirates, where the two season-opening tournaments will be staged.

The South Africans returned from Canada with gold after the shortened 2021 series took place in Vancouver and Edmonton, and after a brief break and a good pre-season, the Blitzboks are now firmly focused on Dubai.


Dubai is also a happy hunting ground for South Africa and Soyizwapi is looking forward to the prospects of his team kicking off the season in the popular desert city.

“We have been training very hard in Stellenbosch and I believe that the team is ready and raring to go. We can’t wait to get going,” said Soyizwapi.

But he adds that, while the team has an impressive record in Dubai, there is no place for complacency.

“We like the warmer climate and always seem to do well in Dubai, however, we will take it one game at a time and we know every series tournament is a tough challenge,” said the Blitzbok skipper.

After the Covid-19 pandemic disrupted the past two seasons, Soyizwapi and his teammates are understandably excited about the far more busy schedule awaiting them in the upcoming season.

“It’s great to have a full calendar again and although it will be a great challenge, it is something that we as a group are really looking forward to.”

With their return to very familiar surroundings in Dubai, Shakes – as he is affectionately known – emphasised the importance of a good start to the season.

“If you start well and you win, then it’s good for your confidence and you can kick on and build from there.

“It would be great if we can do that, especially with such a busy schedule and many big tournaments over the next year,” he explained.