Kyle Brown hands off Kenya's Daniel Sikuta during a match ta the Cape Town Sevens in December. Photo: Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix

DURBAN - For the lofty standards the BlitzBoks set themselves, they know their fourth place finish at the recent Commonwealth Games, a tournament they have won before, was not good enough.

They now travel to Singapore with a squad that blends experience with new upstarts looking to prove themselves, as the series winds down with South Africa in the overall lead.

There is a lot at stake in Singapore this weekend as the BlitzBoks hold a three point lead over Fiji, the Islanders having won gold in the last two legs.

Stand-in captain Kyle Brown says the team are looking to get back to winning ways and forget the disappointment of the Gold Coast Games.

“We often said one game will not define us or what we stand for as a Springbok Sevens team, yet that second-half performance against England at the Games was one that did show some shortcomings in our attitude,” said Brown.

“We were in fact defined by that one game as it also knocked us off the podium and we left Australia without a medal, disappointing many, including ourselves.”

Coach Neil Powell has probably done the right thing in selecting his squad, blending the best of those who did duty in Hong Kong with seasoned heads from the Games tournament.

Not only does it reward the youngsters, it also sends a message to the others that they shouldn’t get too comfortable.

“There can be no doubt that some of the new guys in the squad brought some energy and excitement and reminded some of the more established players what it felt like,” said Brown, South Africa’s second-most experienced player.

"It impacted on all of us. Good performances in Hong Kong were rewarded and those guys can again show what they are capable of.

“There is little sense in trying to shackle their energy and the way they play as that was what delivered them a medal in Hong Kong, so the senior heads in the team will provide the composure and sense of structure where needed.

“It was great for all of us to see one group in our system do so well and now we want to combine with them to deliver a good result in Singapore.”

While points and pride are on offer in Singapore, and a chance to stretch the overall lead, there is also the matter of letting the youngsters have another crack at proving they can play regularly for the national side.

With the likes of Brown, Philip Snyman, Cecil Afrika, Justin Geduld and other household names nearing the end of their careers, there needs to be a changing of the guard, and it starts in Singapore.

The Mercury

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