Home Sport Rugby Oosthuizen says he’s honoured to play for Blitzboks

Oosthuizen says he’s honoured to play for Blitzboks

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The lanky 24-year-old is chomping at the bit to contribute to his team’s fortunes at this weekend’s Los Angeles Sevens.

Ryan Oosthuizen of South Africa makes a break

The quiet, unassuming figure of Ryan Oosthuizen is a perfect example of what the Blitzboks are about, and the lanky 24-year-old is chomping at the bit to contribute to his team’s fortunes at this weekend’s Los Angeles Sevens.

Oosthuizen missed out on the previous two tournaments in Hamilton and Sydney as part of the rotational policy set out by Springbok Sevens coach Neil Powell which is in line with his planning for the Tokyo Olympics, but the part-time law student looks set to hit 100 matches and 100 points in Los Angeles this weekend.

“It is another opportunity to contribute to a team that means so much to me,” Oosthuizen said as the Blitzboks fine-tuned their preparations.

“Nothing makes you realise how special it is to play for the Blitzboks than having to watch them play on television. It is such a privilege and honour to play for such a team, with so many great players.”

Oosthuizen was barely out of school at Paarl Gymnasium when the Rio Games came around. At that stage, he was plugging away as an outside centre for the Western Province age group teams, but come Tokyo 2020, he will be hoping to live his dream in Japan.

“Coach Neil planned to give everyone a fair opportunity to stake a claim for the Olympics,” Oosthuizen said.

“I play in a pretty competitive position, with guys such as Kwagga Smith and JC Pretorius also around, so I need to make sure I make it as hard as possible for the coach not to select me.

“The fact that the Hong Kong and Singapore tournaments have been postponed until after the Olympics has limited the opportunities to impress even more, so this weekend will be an important one for me.”

Oosthuizen is one of the best examples of the slogan “there is no I in team” and his contribution will be to “trust the system and process” rather than running 80 meters to score.

“We play best when everyone contributes and you trust the guy next to you,” said Oosthuizen.

Mike Greenaway