Home Sport Blitzboks’JC happy that New Zealand and Fiji will be at Singapore Sevens

Blitzboks’JC happy that New Zealand and Fiji will be at Singapore Sevens

Blitzboks’ JC Pretorius in action at the 2019 Cape Town Sevens
Blitzboks’ JC Pretorius in action at the 2019 Cape Town Sevens. Picture: Ryan Wilkisky, BackpagePix

A handful of Blitzboks stars will be playing at the fabulous National Stadium in Singapore for the first time when the World Series campaign resumes this weekend.

Durban — When the Blitzboks resume their World Series campaign in Singapore this weekend it will be the first time a handful of them will have played at the fabulous National Stadium, including one of the stars of their recent success in JC Pretorius.

The 24-year-old has been on fire for the South Africans and has become a household name for his spectacular finishes, some of them late scores that have ensured his team continue their winning ways.

So much has happened for Pretorius so quickly that it is hard to believe he only played 16 tournaments in the World Rugby Sevens Series so far and never before in the Singapore Sevens.

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“I was injured in 2019 when we last played here and missed out on that trip, so I am pretty keen to have a crack at it here in Singapore,” said Pretorius, who has scored 36 tries in 86 matches for the Blitzboks.

“I have played all the regular stops, apart from Singapore and Hong Kong, so it will be good to tick this one off too. We are blessed to be able to travel the world and play all over representing our country, something that we will never take for granted.”

Pretorius started his career in Sydney in 2019, and the fresh-faced youngster quickly showed that he was going to become a big-name player. When the World Series was cancelled after six tournaments in 2020, Pretorius was duly named in that season’s Dream Team (alongside Selvyn Davids) and since then, he has hardly missed the regular Player of the Tournament Team.

He was named in the Dream Team after the Canada Sevens in Edmonton in September 2021, and again in December 2021, after both Dubai tournaments.

Although it will always be a case of “team first” for Pretorius, he was displeased when he missed out on this accolade in both Malaga and Seville during the Spain legs in January.

“I set out some goals for myself this year, as I definitely want to keep improving as a player and by pushing the standards and goals higher and higher, you will get better, I believe. I just want to be the best JC Pretorius I can be.”

The forward was not alone in this reflection and desire: “We had enough time away from the field to reflect and discuss what we want to achieve and how to get there, as individuals and as a team.

“Luckily, we managed to spend some time with family and loved ones as well, and they also contributed to creating a positive mindset,” said Pretorius, who hails from Secunda and was schooled in Middelburg.

No reference to the Singapore tournament will be complete without the inevitable question regarding the participation of New Zealand and Fiji, and for Pretorius, it was no different.

“We are really pleased that they are back, the World Series needs them, as well as Samoa,” he said.

“People were reflecting that our recent successes were without them present, but there was nothing we could do about that, but play our best.

“Now that they are back, we will not change anything, we will still go out and do our processes and implement our game plan as always.”

First seeds South Africa will play USA, Canada and Kenya in Pool A of the tournament, which starts on Saturday.


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