SINGAPORE – No-one has played in more matches for the Springbok Sevens team than Branco du Preez – 350 to be precise – but the Blitzboks playmaker had few words to describe the way in his which his last outing in the green and gold ended.
Du Preez, who tied the all-time appearance record for South Africa in the World Rugby Sevens Series on Saturday with Kyle Brown (69 tournaments), thought he had seen it all in his nine years with the Blitzboks.
The feeling he had after what had happened on Sunday in Singapore – where the South Africans overhauled Fiji to win the final of the Singapore Sevens 20-19 – was indescribable for Du Preez.
“The moment feels unreal, to be honest,” said Du Preez.
“What I do know is that it feels pretty special to celebrate my 69th tournament in this way.”
Du Preez played in his 350th match against Fiji, while Brown represented South Africa in 347.
He still shares the milestone for most tournaments with Brown, who clocked the 69 mark earlier this year in Sydney.
“Equalling Kyle’s mark will still sink in – it is just such a great feeling,” said Du Preez.
“What makes it more special is the fact that I can share it with great teammates, with my family and with all our fans in our wonderful country. This was for all of them, not for myself.”
Du Preez also extended his Blitzboks career record for conversions to 398 – which places him in ninth position on the all-time world list – and he is the second highest points scorer of all time for the Blitzboks with 1 253, only behind Cecil Afrika (1 430).
Seabelo Senatla (1 120) is third.
He has seen it all, experienced the highs and lows but this one was pretty special. Branco du Preez on celebrating a milestone with a remarkable win over @Fiji7sTeam @SgRugby7s @CastleFreeSA @FNBSA @ASICSRugby @ASICS_ZA pic.twitter.com/9ULTWyr2Pg— Springbok Sevens (@Blitzboks) April 15, 2019
African News Agency (ANA)