Philip Snyman is hoping to make his experience count. Photo: Monica Davey/EPA

VANCOUVER – A career spanning more than a decade on the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series has not only made Philip Snyman the most decorated Blitzbok captain ever, it also gave him some perspective on the up and downs of international sevens rugby.

Snyman, who will be playing in his 59th tournament this weekend, said the Blitzboks still have their sights set on more victories in 2019 season, despite failing to finish higher than third all season. And it’s the emergence of younger players that is filling him with hope.

“The exciting part of this journey now is to see the talent and potential of the new and younger players coming in,” said Snyman.

“The future of the Blitzboks is indeed bright with the current crop of youngsters, and with the established culture to aid them, the programme is on a good footing.”

Snyman realises that the end of his fantastic journey – that delivered three World Series titles – is slowly approaching, but he is keen to contribute as long as needed.

“On a personal level there is the knowledge that it will come to an end, but till that day, I will run onto the field with a massive smile. It has been such an honour to be part of this system,” said Snyman.

“I have not lifted the trophy in Vancouver yet, and yes, I want to. For that to happen this weekend, we need to focus on a lot of other things but the trophy.”

Snyman had the following to say about their opponents on the first day: “Chile gave us a fright in Las Vegas, where they played well. They are preparing for the World Series qualifying tournament in Hong Kong next month and are very determined at the moment.

“Wales have a young squad, but they play without fear. They are determined with ball in hand and dangerous.

“The USA have pace and power and they are enjoying a very good run in the series. We conceded too much possession against them last weekend and if we sort that out, we can have a different outcome."

The Blitzbokke's pool fixtures are (SA times):
21h23: Chile
00h52: Wales
04h46: USA  

African News Agency (ANA)