It might not be the same Springbok Sevens team we see at the Hong Kong leg of the World Series this weekend, but former Blitzbok captain Marius Schoeman believes that the young squad can do great things, just like many before them did.
Blitzbok coach Neil Powell decided to take the biggest chunk of his regular squad to the Commonwealth Games rather than letting them run out at the seventh tournament of the 2017-18 series. And that decision opened the door for Schoeman to make his Springbok Sevens coaching debut at the Hong Kong tournament.
Schoeman, who is the current SA Rugby Sevens Academy coach, scored 103 career tries over a decade-long Sevens career, 16 of which were at the same venue where his squad’s abilities will be put on show.
“This is a special place for me. Many players started here and went on to do great things in rugby, and without sounding arrogant, I believe some of the players in this youthful squad will do the same,” he said.
Schoeman’s 42 tournaments is more than the combined 32 in his squad, but to the coach this points to a massive opportunity for the five novices that will take to the field.
“I have coached some of these players from a young age. The likes of Heino Bezuidenhout, Stedman Gans and Mfundo Ndhlovu were part of the squad we took to the Youth Commonwealth Games in Samoa in 2015, and we won gold then,” said Schoeman.
The Springbok Sevens schedule in Pool C (SA times):
Friday 6 April
1.10pm v South Korea
Saturday 07 April
6.20am v Scotland
10.20am v England