Chris Dry likes to regularly post on social media, so he had his phone handy when the call came last Friday to join the Blitzboks in the USA as soon as possible to play at the HSBC LA Sevens.
Thanks to the 10 hour time difference and two flights later, Dry made it to Dignity Health Sports Park in time to win a crucial lineout in the final play of their match against Ireland, where the Blitzboks drew 19-19 to top Pool B and set the tone for the rest of the weekend.
Jet-lagged or not, come Sunday and Dry delivered again, scoring a try in the final against Fiji with seconds left on the clock after stealing a crucial lineout from Fiji that started the try-scoring move.
Fair to say, that when the team departed for Vancouver and the HSBC Canada Sevens the next day, Dry was enjoying a well-earned nap during the flight.
A good night’s sleep later and the 32-year-old was ready to go again. And he is adamant that this week’s training sessions need to be as sharp as they have been prior to his arrival, before the South Africans take on Japan, Argentina and England at BC Place in Vancouver on Saturday.
“There were certain elements in our game that we need to work on this week – we are always striving for the 1% improvements, and we were far from perfect in Los Angeles, despite the great result in the end,” Dry insisted.
The most-capped forward in Blitzbok history will play in his 74th tournament this weekend and says that every opportunity to play is savoured and enjoyed. He can be called any time to join the team and will be ready, he smiled.
“It is such a great honour to play with these guys and it is never nice to be ‘rested’ like I was originally as you want to be out there with the guys,” said Dry.
“We were working pretty hard back in Stellenbosch with the SA Rugby Sevens Academy guys, so when the call came, I was ready and eager to go. As I will be this weekend.”
On the other side of the experience scale is Angelo Davids, who scored a first half brace in the semi-final against New Zealand, paving the way to a 17-0 win over the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series log leaders.
Davids is playing in only his fifth tournament and tops Dry when it comes to excitement levels.
“It is just such a goose bump feeling to play with these guys and for this team and jersey,” smiled Davids, who has now scored 16 tries in 26 matches for the Blitzboks and claimed World Series titles in Singapore and Los Angeles.
“It was a dream of mine to play for the team and now I’m living that. I always wanted to visit the USA as well and now I could leave with great memories. I am also pretty excited to be in Vancouver as a lot of the guys indicated it to be a great stop on tour.”
Davids is still of the shy kind, but with 14 tries in 15 matches this season, his actions are speaking far louder than words.
“The guys on the inside are making it easy for me,” said the 20-year-old speedster.
“We have great systems in place and that allows me to score a lot of tries. I am just at the end of it, a lot of the work are being done by the guys on the inside. It is great to know they have my back.”
Davids does have an Olympic Games dream, but for now, that is not important for the former Stellenberg High School track star.
“I just want to focus on the next game and not look to far into the future. We are taking it game by game in Vancouver and for now, the focus is on our match against Japan. We can look into the future at the end of the tournament again,” he said.