Blitzbok captain Siviwe Soyizwapi celebrates his 50th World Sevens Series tournament in Toulouse on Friday, but insists his focus remains solely on winning the event.
Soyizwapi, who has played in 255 World Series matches and scored 149 tries since his debut in Hong Kong in 2016, will become the ninth South African to reach this milestone.
Although it is a special personal achievement, the 30-year-old is fully focused on leading the Blitzboks between the four lines to victory in their opening Pool C clash against hosts France.
“The legacy of the brand and what the Springbok Sevens and SA Rugby have achieved on the world stage is something to very proud of, so yes I am feeling very proud,” ‘Shakes’ said.
Soyizwapi, who has helped lead the team to numerous victories and titles, including gold at the Commonwealth Games, has experienced the highs and lows of the game during his time in the jersey. But he believes that both have made him a better person and the team stronger.
With France and Fiji waiting for them on the opening day, he is grateful that they have a massive job at hand. “People should know by now the Springbok Sevens team is one that loves pressure and responds to that. We like it tough, we are better in those situations, and that is what makes us who we are.
“Having to beat France and Fiji on the opening day is a proper challenge.”
Reflecting on his achievement, Soyizwapi said, “Not many make it to 50 tournaments and only a handful of Blitzboks achieved that. So, I am not only thankful to make it this far, but also not to have picked up any serious injuries that kept me off the field for long times.”
Blitzboks with 50 World Series tournaments are:
Branco du Preez – 85 tournaments
Chris Dry – 74
Kyle Brown – 69
Frankie Horne – 68
Cecil Afrika – 63
Philip Snyman – 62
Justin Geduld – 52
Werner Kok – 51