Blitzboks forward Impi Visser says he cannot wait to make his World Rugby Sevens Series debut in Dubai this weekend after a frustrating 2018.
The 23-year-old is the only uncapped player in an experienced Blitzboks squad for the season opener in Dubai, which also features the likes of Kyle Brown and Branco du Preez.
Born in Mpumalanga, the mechanical engineering graduate endured a tough year. He picked up a serious ankle injury in January playing for the SA Academy team in South America, and relocated to Pretoria to complete his studies.
With that in mind, a smiling Visser told the media in Dubai that being the only uncapped player will not take anything away from his effort or contribution this year.
‘It was a dream of mine to play in the green and gold and now it will come true,’ Visser said. ‘It is an amazing feeling and I cannot wait. This is just so unbelievable, but true. It was such a tough year for me, but that is all in the past now. I am so honoured and privileged to be able to be here and to use this opportunity presented to me.’
While he was studying, Visser played as a centre for Tuks when they claimed the Varsity Cup title in 2017, but is utilised mainly as a forward in sevens.
Visser says that his teammates and coach Neil Powell aided him to re-adjust to his role and responsibilities in the shortened format of the game.
‘This is just an amazing group of guys. They always have a joke up their sleeves, but are so committed and professional when it comes to the Blitzboks. Their experience and skills are certainly something I can feed from. There is so much to learn from them and to add to my own arsenal as a player.
‘Coach Neil [Powell] always stresses the importance of doing your job in the team, to fulfil your responsibilities in the team,’ Visser added. ‘By doing that, everyone else can function and prosper. That will be my focus in my first tournament, just doing my job. And of course, enjoying it.’
Photo: David van der Sandt