Blitzboks speed merchant Siviwe Soyizwapi is looking forward to running out onto FMG Stadium in Hamilton for the HSBC World Sevens tournament on Saturday.
Soyizwapi made his first visit to New Zealand in 2017 and marked the occasion as part of the South African side who claimed the New Zealand leg when the tournament was held for the last time in Wellington.
He missed last year’s first tournament in Hamilton because of a knee injury but is keen to put his 20 tournaments, and 101 games of experience to use.
South Africa have found the New Zealand leg valuable in recent years backing their 2017 win with a second placing last year.
South Africa are in the same pool as Kenya, France and Scotland and joining him in Hamilton for the first time will be Impi Visser, Dewald Human and Selvyn Davids.
The key to doing well was to continue to work through the team’s philosophy and processes that have worked for them.
“We need to stick to the standards we set ourselves in the past. That made us successful before, so that should be part of our mindset and journey,” Soyizwapi said.
“We have a number of new combinations here, and it it will be important for those to find each other early. We trained well together in Stellenbosch, so we should be good to go once we take to the field.
“This trip is always challenging, as there are different time zones involved. We also have a number of guys coming back from injury, but we have managed to overcome that in the past,” he said.
Coach Neil Powell said the main goal he was looking for from his side was improvement.
Having lost Ruhan Nel, Kwagga Smith, Dylan Sage, Tim Ababa and Seabelo Senatla to Investec Super Rugby aspirations, South Africa have been forced into a rebuilding stage.
In the first two tournaments of the 2018-19 series they have had issues with their defence and discipline, and also attacking consistency and some reversion to individual play.
The test in Hamilton will be to see if the resulting work over the Christmas break has reduced the issues for the side.
— HSBC NZ Sevens (@NZ_Sevens) January 17, 2019