Springbok Sevens veteran and former Blitzboks captain Kyle Brown admitted some excitement and nerves as he prepares to return to the playing field after 10 months.
The third-most capped Blitzbok off all time injured his knee at the Cape Town Sevens in December last year and has made a slow, but steady recovery to full fitness.
He will run out for the South African Sevens team on Saturday at the Assupol International Sevens tournament, to be played at the Markötter Stadium in Stellenbosch, where the Blitzboks will face England Academy, Kenya and Scotland on day one.
“The surgery went well, the rehab went well and the pre-season running was tough, but I managed,” Brown said as the team wrapped up their preparations for the tournament.
“For the last two months on the training field, I started to find my feet again. I don’t know how, but it did feel as if the game got faster in the time I was away, so I will use this weekend and the tournament to try and find my pace in the game.”
Brown stood down as captain of the side at the beginning of last season and Philip Snyman took over for the 2016/17 season, which saw the Blitzboks win the overall World Rugby Sevens Series.
“It was a long pre-season and at times a strange one. Due to some of the squad playing Currie Cup, we were only five players at training at times,” Snyman said.
“That made it tough, but it was a good one. The guys are hungry to play some sevens, and guys like Kyle Brown and Justin Geduld return from injury and others return from Currie Cup.
“The rest, like me, are keen to get back on to the horse. We are ready to give it a go this weekend and get into the groove of things.”
The tournament, which will see the SA Rugby Sevens Academy Under-17 squad in action against international teams from Namibia and Argentina as well, starts at 9am.