CAPE TOWN – To play six matches in two days, and repeat that 10 times in 10 different cities on five continents, all in the space of seven months, can get very taxing on mind and body.
Just ask any Blitzbok.
For one of the leading and most experienced Springbok Sevens players, Justin Geduld, this has indeed been very demanding over the years. And to add insult to injury, he also had to cope with a broken jaw, injured knee ligaments and ankle repairs as part of the deal.
The fact that Geduld, as a play-maker with the softest of touches and so elusive, does not shy away from contact did not help the slender-built flyhalf at all and more times than most, contributed to the damage.
The last couple of weeks, since the squad returned home victorious from Singapore in mid-April, Geduld has gone “soft”, enjoying a longer than usual break before the Blitzboks re-assembled in Stellenbosch to prepare for the London Sevens, which starts at Twickenham on Saturday.
Geduld used the free time to go “baby shopping” with his partner, Mymoema Isaacs, who is expecting the couple’s first child next month, and the soon-to-be-father was a willing participant in the exercise to find some pink stuff. Yes, it’s a girl!
Back on the training pitch in London though, the only soft left in the Geduld armoury will be the deft steps or hands through the gap he plans to execute when the Blitzboks take on Japan, Canada and Argentina in Pool A at Twickenham.
“It is good to be back on tour - we had a long break, longer than usual,” said Geduld.
“Normally, it was three weeks away, a week off and two weeks before we departed again. This time around, we had a bit more time and in my case, it was spent wisely.
The 25-year-old has had a productive season on the field and has played in all eight tournaments so far, something he is grateful for. “Yes, I was lucky this time around with injuries, compared to previous seasons, and I am grateful for that.
We are well-looked after and I am hoping to finish the season strong.”
Seeing that we are both in England right now with an important job to do, why not give the Proteas a bit of our #ProteaFire? @OfficialCSA @faf1307 @CastleFreeSA @FNBSA @ASICS_ZA @DaleSteyn62 @jpduminy21 @KagisoRabada25 pic.twitter.com/uS6r1vFFA5— Springbok Sevens (@Blitzboks) May 22, 2019
Should Geduld cross the whitewash at Twickenham, it will be his 100th try in the Springbok Sevens jersey.
He has also scored 214 conversions and a penalty goal for 926 points for the Blitzboks in the World Sevens Series, which places him fourth on the all-time list.
“Having a solid run this season has obviously helped with the confidence and the momentum, and we want to finish strong as a group. We want to go out there and enjoy ourselves,” he said.
African News Agency (ANA)