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VIDEO: Another Leyds added to the international fold

SPOTLIGHT: The first time it was just a text message of ‘maybe’, but when Tristan Leyds got the confirmation that he was in the BlitzBoks team to play in this weekend’s inaugural HSBC SVNS tournament in Perth, he video-called older brother Dillyn to share the good news.

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The younger Leyds (26) just had to see the smile on Dillyn’s face when he told him that he would also be representing their country, following in the footsteps of his 30-year-old sibling, who played for the Junior Springboks and Springboks in a much-celebrated career.

“I texted him earlier in the week to say that there is a good chance of me making the travelling squad as I was one of two flyhalves in the trimmed group for Perth and he was very pleased on my behalf,” an excited Tristan recalled before the BlitzBoks departed for West Australia for the third tournament of HSBC SVNS 2024.

“Then, when I was told I am going, I video-called him and we shared the special moment, with smiles all around. He has been very supportive of me during my career so far and it was just a special moment for me to see how happy he was with the news. And the fact that we have another international in the family, of course, made it even more special.”

Dillyn was a member of the gold medal championship-winning Junior Springbok squad of 2012 and played in the first of his 10 Tests for the Springboks in 2018.

“We then reflected that I am also going to Perth, a city that played a meaningful role in his rugby career,” Tristan said.

Way back in 2014, Dillyn moved to Perth for a year, where he represented Perth Spirit and the Western Force in Super Rugby. Upon his return the following year, he became a household name for the Stormers and kick-started a career that would see him play test rugby and become a two-time Champions Cup winner with Stade Rochelais, his current French club.

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“Hopefully Perth will also be good for me,” said Tristan.

“I am very keen to join the BlitzBoks in the series. I have trained with them for close to five months now and just signed my first contract with them, so to be on the same field as the guys will be pretty special.”

Leyds, who will be playing flyhalf in sevens, played for Western Province in the Currie Cup and represented Stormers in the United Rugby Championship before he received an approach from the BlitzBok management to come and train with them.

“I can tell you one thing, these BlitzBoks are as skilful as anyone. It is much tougher going to sevens from fifteens and even though I thought I was fit, it was a tough battle to get fit enough to train with these guys,” Leyds said of his new team.

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He was named in the wider squad for the HSBC SVNS Cape Town last month but was not selected in the team that in the end struggled on the second day of the competition in the Cape Town Stadium.

“Yes, we spoke about the things that went wrong and how we can fix things for Perth and the squad is determined to show that we can deliver the goods, like in Dubai, when we won,” said Leyds.

“For me personally, it will be a huge moment to play for South Africa, but it is not about me as a person, but rather what I contribute to the team environment.

“Dillyn already alerted some friends in Perth that I am coming, so I cannot disappoint him in that regard,” Leyds added with a smile.

The BlitzBoks arrived in Perth earlier on Sunday and had a flush-out session before they fine-tuned their preparations for the tournament. The BlitzBoks play Canada and Spain on Friday, and Argentina on Saturday in their final Pool A match.

 

 

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