Blitzboks ready for business in Hong Kong
SA raring to go for World Rugby Sevens Series opening tournament, says captain Siviwe Soyizwapi
Their movements have been limited due to a hard tournament bubble, but the Springbok Sevens arrived in Hong Kong itching to get going in the opening tournament of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series starting on Friday, Blitzbok captain Siviwe Soyizwapi says.
The South Africans pushed aside the discomforts of the Covid-19 bubble and some thunderstorms that disrupted their training session on Wednesday, two days before the kickoff of the competition.
“We did not have such strict lockdown regulations since the Olympic Games, but because we knew what was coming and had lived through it before, we are not letting that element of the tournament affect us at all,” Soyizwapi said.
“We left Stellenbosch knowing what to expect and have adapted to the fact that limited movement will be the order of the day and that our hotel will be our best friend till Friday, when we will at least be out on the field to do what we love most and that is to play for our country.
“We also trained hard in Stellenbosch, where it was really hot, so we took the thunderstorms in our stride.
“It does make the ball greasy, but it is good to have a session in weather like that, as we might encounter it during the tournament and if so, then at least we had the experience of it. So we are making everything a positive at the moment.”
The players have been around the block and even the new coaching staff of Sandile Ngcobo and Philip Snyman were experienced Blitzbok squad members for many seasons and that eased the mind over the matter.
“The fact that both have been part of the system made the transition for us much easier and it is fair to say that the players and coaches are on the same page. Both want the team to chase that perfect game and play to our full potential this weekend,” Soyizwapi said.
The traditional captains’ photo was also done on Wednesday and though it was indoors due to the thunderstorms outside, Soyizwapi said it made him realise that they need to front up again against the best teams in the world.
“Because of the bubble restrictions, the hotel does not feel like a big tournament is about to happen,” he said. “But we were one of the last teams to arrive, so everyone was here already when we checked in and we realised then that we are here to do the business.”
Soyizwapi made his debut in Hong Kong in 2016 and said he is excited to see it back on the World Series circuit.
“I am also keen to see this group go. There is so much potential in the squad and we have seen what they are capable of when we play to our full potential. Standing at the brink of that possibility makes me very excited to run onto the field in two days.”
SA Rugby Communications
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