Photo: Alessandro Bianchi/Reuters
Photo: Alessandro Bianchi/Reuters

Outgoing Blitzbok skipper Brown ‘an amazing captain’

By Ashfak Mohamed Time of article published Nov 23, 2016

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Cape Town - Kyle Brown feels it is the “right time” to step down as the Springbok Sevens captain after handing the reigns over to Philip Snyman on Wednesday.

The 29-year-old Brown has been a stalwart of the Blitzbok squad since 2008, and was appointed as the skipper in 2010.

He led the team to a gold medal at the 2014 Commonwealth Games, even though he was injured in the final against New Zealand, while they claimed bronze at the Rio Olympics this year, where Brown again showed his inspirational qualities with a number of outstanding personal performances.

“The time has come where it feels right for me to step aside as captain of the team. It has been an immense privilege that I have had for the better part of five years, and we are in a great position to bring some new, fresh ideas into the role,” Brown said in a statement.

“I discussed the move with the coach (Neil Powell) shortly after our return from the Olympics, and we made the decision in the last week. I look forward to moving into a supportive role with the aim of helping the young leaders find their rhythm and, most importantly, concentrating on adding as much value to the team on and off the field.”

The World Series starts in Dubai on December 2-3, which is followed by the Cape Town Sevens a week later. So Powell moved quickly to install Snyman on a permanent basis, with the former Cheetahs wing having filled in for Brown in the past.

“We already had a strong leadership group in the squad and Philip is a natural leader of men, so it was an easy choice. He will do well, I have no doubt,” Powell said.

“Kyle always puts the team before himself, and this is another example of that. We are starting to bring new faces into the squad, so it will be great to still have a leader like Kyle around to show them what the team culture is, what we stand for as a group and a team.

“Kyle still has a lot to offer as a player, and I am convinced we will still see some inspiring performances from him this season. He was an amazing captain and we salute his contribution.”

Powell will announce his first squad of the season on Friday, with star wing Seabelo Senatla already cleared to play following the wrist injury he sustained at the Olympics. But Kwagga Smith is in doubt with an ankle problem.

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