The Springbok Sevens get their new HSBC Sevens World Series season underway on Saturday morning (SA time) when they run out against Canada in their first Pool A match at the Gold Coast Sevens at Skilled Park.
The Blitzbokke, who will be aiming for a vastly improved performance this season, will meet the United States in the second match before their big clash of the day against current Series champions New Zealand.
Brisbane’s Gold Coast will host round one of the nine-tournament World Series extravaganza.
Relishing the challenge at Skilled Park on 13 – 14 October, Blitzbokke captain Kyle Brown said his team is determined to secure a good kick-off to the new World Series.
“All the guys are very excited to get on the field, it’s been a great pre-season and build-up and we’re looking forward to it! The team is quite a settled one with the inclusion of only two new caps, Reuben Johannes and Ruwellyn Isbell. I always feel that if we play up to our potential and play the rugby we know we can play then we definitely have a realistic chance at the Gold Coast.”
The straight-talking Brown admitted his team struggled last season with their defence, but promised a better showing over the weekend.
“We did struggle a fair bit in defence last year. The defensive structure in Sevens is built around understanding each other and making your first time hits. Over the last couple weeks we’ve got to understand each other better, and as for first time hits, that comes down to the individuals making that decision to put his body on the line,” explained Brown.
In terms of the team’s overall approach this season, the Springbok Sevens skipper added: “We’re a team with unique strengths and we’ve got some tough boys too. The Series will be won by the team that plays the most consistently good rugby, and that’s something we always strive towards.”
Earlier on Thursday, IRB Sevens Tournament Director, Beth Coalter was on hand with the captains to celebrate the launch of the new Series at the Gold Coast.
“It’s hugely exciting to be kicking off a new HSBC Sevens World Series here on the Gold Coast. We have 15 core teams going to all nine rounds this year so we're expecting the quality of rugby and the closeness of the matches to be better than ever before," said Coalter.
"Not only do the teams have the Series to look forward to this season, there is also the Rugby World Cup Sevens to build towards in Moscow after the climax of the Series, so the next eight months will be an intriguing form guide for that too,” according to Coalter.
The Springbok Sevens fixtures on Saturday at the Gold Coast Sevens are:
SA vs. Canada
SA vs. United States
SA vs. New Zealand
All matches will be televised live on SuperSport.