The Blitzboks enjoy bringing smiles to the faces of their supporters, but they also enjoy getting the job done with a smile – and that is exactly what Justin Geduld will be aiming to do when the HSBC Cape Town Sevens tournament kicks off on Saturday.
The Springbok Sevens playmaker made a successful return to the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series last weekend in Dubai after a long recovery from a foot injury he sustained in Las Vegas early in March. As a result, he missed the last five tournaments of the 2016/17 series, which the Springbok Sevens won.
Geduld, who was raised in Ravensmead in Cape Town and attended Tygerberg High School, is very happy to be back on the field, and can’t wait to run out in front of the home fans and family.
“It was great to be back on the field in Dubai and this weekend will even be better,” said Geduld after the Blitzboks concluded their preparations for the HSBC Cape Town Sevens, the second of ten tournaments in the World Series.
“I played in a warm-up tournament in October, but the World Series is what really matters, as it is where you are tested against the best players in the world.”
Geduld is equally at home as a starter or making an impact off the bench: “We have strong competition within the squad and that is nice, but the bottom line is that we all need to contribute, whether you play two or 12 minutes. So you always have the motivation to do your best for the team.”
Training sessions at their Stellenbosch base are notoriously tough, with all squad members identifying Werner Kok as the hardest guy to contend with during training. That relentless attitude at training has also became a trademark of the blonde winger’s mindset during matches and Kok, World Rugby’s Sevens Player of the Year in 2015, is not letting up.
Kok has been in action for DHL Western Province as they secured the Currie Cup in the last couple of months, and the 24-year-old said that playing fifteens has improved his game.
“Fifteens no doubt forced me to be more physical and to be dominant in the tackle situation, which helps on defence as you force the opposition into slower ball on attack,” Kok explained.
“We aim to be physical at the breakdowns. We are not the biggest team on circuit, so need to make sure we execute in that area.”
Kok feels the team owe themselves and the country a big Christmas present this weekend: “After we lost in the final last year, we want to go one better. Not only for ourselves, but for the country.”
The tournament kicks off at 10h15 on Saturday, with Samoa and Canada playing in the opening game. South Africa will face Russia at 12h49, France at 16h10 and Kenya at 19h56.