Milestone for Blitzboks captain in France
NEWS: The Blitzboks will celebrate captain Siviwe Soyizwapi’s 50th World Rugby Sevens Series tournament in Toulouse on Friday.
South Africa face the hosts in their opening Pool C clash of the France Sevens and Soyizwapi is adamant that his sole focus will be on lowering the French flag.
The 30-year-old captain, who will become the ninth South African to reach this milestone, said it was a special occasion.
“The job stays the same for everyone and I am as keen as the next player to go out there and do our best for the country when we face France and Fiji later that evening.
“The focus will be on implementing what we trained, to get our processes going and play to the best of our ability. That will drive me and the team,” he said.
Soyizwapi, who has played in 255 World Series matches and scored 149 tries since making his debut in Hong Kong in 2016, said having an immediate job at hand will also help.
“I am grateful that we have a massive job at hand during my 50th tournament as it will take most of the emotion out of it,” said Soyizwapi.
“People should know by now the Springbok Sevens team is one that loves pressure and respond 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.”
He does allow himself to reflect on the achievement though: “With regards to the Blitzboks, there are a lot of blood, sweat and tears that has gone into this brand over the last two decades. To share something special like a 50th tournament with all those who have paved the way makes me proud and very humble.
Some reflections from @SiviweSoyizwapi on his 50th tournament in @WorldRugby7s pic.twitter.com/g8pFpCGN6Y
— Springbok Sevens (@Blitzboks) May 8, 2023
“You never start this journey with a number in mind, so to get to 50 is a massive honour for me. The realities of the game and how tough it is one the body is another factor that makes me very grateful.
“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.”
Soyizwapi said the highs and lows in the jersey during this time was part of life.
“We had many highs since I started, winning tournaments, winning World Series titles and most recently, gold at the Commonwealth Games,” he said.
“There are lows too, but that is part of life and you need to be able to deal with those as well. The lows teach you to cope with adversity, not only as a person but also as a team and I experienced both. It certainly made me a better person and I think the team is in a better place.”