It will be a proud weekend for Tygerberg High School in Cape Town – not only will Marvin Orie and Travis Ismaiel join Eben Etzebeth as recently produced Springboks, but another one of their rugby stars, Justin Geduld, will achieve a special Blitzbok milestone at the HSBC London Sevens.
Geduld will play in his 35th HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series tournament at Twickenham this weekend, and true to Springbok Sevens tradition, was handed a special cap to celebrate this achievement.
The 35-tournament milestone means a lot to the players and Geduld was humbled by this achievement.
“I never expected to join such a distinguished group of players who also achieved this. It is a humbling experience,” said Geduld, who has scored 787 points in 124 matches for the Blitzboks.
“In the beginning, my dream was just to make the team, so to still be here is massive for me. I will certainly enjoy this experience. I just want to express myself and contribute to the team effort.”
The playmaker is one of five players back into the World Series fray and last played in Hamilton, where he suffered a broken jaw and missed the tournaments in Las Vegas, Vancouver, Hong Kong and Singapore.
Geduld made his return at the Commonwealth Games in April, but is chomping at the bit to help the Blitzboks make it to the line and successfully defend their World Series crown.
“We are not putting any pressure on ourselves and will go out there and play as we know we can. If we do that, the results will come,” Geduld said.
Springbok Sevens coach Neil Powell said the hard work in the build-up to this weekend’s tournament was done back in Stellenbosch and applauded the energy and effort this week in London.
“We had a bigger group of player in Stellenbosch and the guys really pushed each other for spot in the squad,” said Powell.
“We did some good work there. I am pleased with our effort here as well. The likes of Justin, Branco (du Preez), Ruhan (Nel) and Philip (Snyman) are keen to play again and that bodes well. They need to go out and enjoy themselves.”
Powell is aware of the log and the fact that Fiji is slightly ahead: “We are not looking at that, but will focus on our game. We are aware of the log positions, but the only way to change that is to go out and play our best.”
The Springbok Sevens fixtures for Day One (SA times):
The Blitzbok squad for the HSBC London Sevens are:
- Ryan Oosthuizen (8 tournaments, 33 matches, 30 points, 6 tries)
- Philip Snyman (captain, 52 tournaments, 236 matches, 336 points, 61 tries, )
- Dylan Sage (22 tournaments, 122 matches, 140 points, 28 tries)
- Zain Davids (11 tournaments, 48 matches, 35 points, 7 tries)
- Werner Kok (35 tournaments, 172 matches, 390- points, 78 tries)
- Heino Bezuidenhout (2 tournaments, 12 matches, 10 points, 2 tries)
- Branco du Preez (60 tournaments, 302 matches, 1154 points, 82 tries, 370 conversions)
- Siviwe Soyizwapi (16 tournaments, 77 matches, 270 points, 54 tries)
- Justin Geduld (34 tournaments, 174 matches, 787 points, 83 tries, 186 conversions)
- Cecil Afrika (60 tournaments, 315 matches, 1425 points, 172 tries, 282 conversions)
- Seabelo Senatla (37 tournaments, 193 matches, 1095 tries, 219 tries)
- Ruhan Nel (26 tournaments, 135 matches, 237 points, 47 tries)
- Stedman Gans (10 tournaments, 41 matches, 50 points, 10 tries)*