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How BlitzBoks emerged from 'qualifying mess'

REACTION: They did it the hard way, but South Africa finally managed to book their ticket to the Paris Olympics for a third consecutive time since Sevens was introduced in 2016.

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The BlitzBoks booked their Paris ticket when they defeated Great Britain in the Final of the World Sevens Repechage event in Monaco on Sunday.

It was a great reward for South Africa’s Sevens system, that they would once more go to the Olympic Games, but the real relief was that the BlitzBoks’ swagger and belief were back.

In fact, according to 2016 bronze medalist and interim BlitzBok coach Philip Snyman, the successful entry to the Paris Olympics has instilled a belief that they have turned a miserable season around.

“We had some bad months, yes, but the comeback is now complete,” Snyman said.

“We got ourselves into the mess of having to qualify via repechage, but credit to the way the players responded.

“We came here knowing that defence will be the key to success and only conceded three tries in six matches.

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“The guys deserve a lot of credit for that,” Snyman added.

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The coach praised all involved with the lead-up to the event and said the players deserve the applause.

“We were down and out, but credit to the guys.

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“They deserve this and I am very pleased that we will be going to Paris.”

On Sunday, the BlitzBoks outplayed Uganda, Canada and Great Britain to claim the final ticket to the Sevens at the Paris Olympics.

Afterwards, team captain, Selvyn Davids, praised his troops and the management for a job well done.

“The guys really wanted this,” Davids said.

“We came here well prepared, with good confidence and a solid game plan.

“Credit to all our opponents, especially Great Britain, who really gave us a hard time in that final,” he added.

“We knew it would be a tough weekend, but the way we responded to everything our opponents threw at us makes me a very proud BlitzBoks captain,” beamed Davids.

Meanwhile, World Rugby also announced the pools for the Sevens event in Paris.

South Africa, Ireland, New Zealand and Japan will contest Pool A, while Argentina, Australia, Samoa and Kenya are in Pool B. Hosts France will face defending champions Fiji, USA and Uruguay in Pool C.

Paris men's draw

Paris women's draw

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