Standing next to the other 15 captains at the HSBC Paris Sevens official captains’ photo earlier on Wednesday, Springbok Sevens captain Siviwe Soyizwapi looked up at the Eiffel Tower and was immediately impressed by the iconic landmark.
The sight of the famous French landmark inspired the Blitzbok speedster and he hopes for more inspiration on Saturday and Sunday, when the final tournament of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series is played at Stade Jean-Bouin.
“We would like to finish the season well,” said Soyizwapi.
“It was an up and down season for us. We had a lot of new players coming in, which impacted on our consistency, but crucially we managed to achieve our goal of a top four finish.”
That means automatic qualification to the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, but before the Blitzboks can start celebrating that, they still have a title to defend.
Their epic win over England in last year’s final in Paris is still seen as one of the great performances of the World Series and nothing would please Soyizwapi more if they can finish well again.
“We want to look back at our last tournament of the season as one we can proud of. We want to go out and do it for each other one more time,” he said.
The Blitzboks were given some homework by their coach, Neil Powell, this week. They had to analyse their performances in London and the captain said all benefitted from the exercise.
“It was part of the mental side of our preparation and added to the training sessions we had on the field. The three new guys came in nice and early, so we trained well with little disruptions,” Soyizwapi said.
The Blitzboks face Australia, Wales and Kenya in Pool B of the tournament on Saturday.