Note to editors: Please find audio files of Springbok Sevens captain at the HSBC London Sevens, Philip Snyman, available for download. The files are in Afrikaans and English.
The Springbok Sevens captain, Philip Snyman, on Wednesday said the Blitzboks are determined to end the season on a positive note at the HSBC London Sevens tournament to be played at Twickenham this weekend.
South Africa is second on the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series log, 14 points behind Fiji and according to Snyman, will offer a determined effort in London on Saturday and Sunday when the 2015/16 series conclude.“We have played some good sevens rugby this season. We only won once in Cape Town and played in a couple of other finals, but are not content with that. The season was also one of near-misses for us coming desperately short on a couple of occasions and we owe it to ourselves and our supporters to fix that. We want to finish strong, not only because it will reward the hard work put in over this year, but also because we want to make the country and our supporters proud,” Snyman said.
“Our management also deserve a solid performance from our side as they have really worked hard to get us fit and competitive this year.”
The Springbok Sevens are grouped with Samoa, Canada and the USA in Pool A in London.
“It is not an easy pool. In fact, it is a very tough pool. Samoa beat us in Paris last weekend and is really building up nicely towards their Olympic Games qualifiers. The same with Canada, who must also still qualify for the Olympics and is getting better and better. The USA is also a very dangerous team with lots of speed, but also a very physical team that is hard to beat,” said Snyman, who will be playing in his 37th tournament.
“We love playing at Twickenham. It is a place steeped in history and a wonderful facility and we are keen to do well here. We are working on those small issues that tripped us up in France and will do our best come this weekend. We need to be a bit more aggressive in the rucks and our kick-offs needs a bit of detail, so we worked to fix that this week. But we also played some very good sevens for most of the time this year, so is keen to showcase that type of form.”
The team saw two changes from the one that contested the HSBC Paris last weekend and won the Plate. Ruhan Nel and Kwagga Smith returned to South Africa due to injury and were replaced by Siviwe Soyizwapi and Chris Dry, who both last played for South Africa in the Singapore Sevens.
Soyizwapi, playing in his third tournament after making his debut in Hong Kong, is keen to give it a go in London.
“I know what I have to do in the team environment and team structure and if I do that well, the rewards will be there. Coach Neil Powell did indicate that I will get a chance in London, so I am keen to lay down a marker,” he said.
Soyizwapi scored five tries in his first two tournaments and would like to add to that.
“I like scoring tries, but this week will also be about my contributions on defence and to the team processes in general play.”
The team is (with number of tournaments) is:
1. Chris Dry (51)
2. Philip Snyman (36, c)
3. Tim Agaba (6)
4. Ryan Kankowski (7)
5. Francois Hougaard (5)
6. Kyle Brown (55)
7. Dylan Sage (6)
8. Stephan Dippenaar (28)
9. Rosko Specman (12)
10. Cecil Afrika (44)
11. Seabelo Senatla (28)
12. Siviwe Soyizwapi (2)