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Kok’s come a long way

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“It was not something I ever thought would happen, so it is going to be a great feeling, no doubt”

BLITZBOK legend Werner Kok will join an illustrious group of Springbok Sevens players in Los Angeles this weekend when he takes to the field in his 50th World Rugby Sevens Series tournament.

Kok’s achievement follows hot on the heels of Justin Geduld, Branco du Preez, Chris Dry, Cecil Afrika, Frankie Horne, Kyle Brown and Philip Snyman.

For the popular Nelspruit native, it will be a treasured moment that he would not have thought possible when he debuted as a Blitzbok way back in London in 2013.

“It was not something I ever thought would happen, so it is going to be a great feeling, no doubt,” said Kok as the team prepares for the LA Sevens.

“I have shared some amazing things with this squad and to hit 50 tournaments with them is a very rewarding feeling. It will also be a bit emotional for me knowing that I am leaving them at the end of the World Series (to join the Sharks), but for now, I just want to enjoy the feeling of being a Blitzbok alongside these fantastic players.”

Kok has worn the Blitzbok jersey in 249 matches so far. Should he get game time against Kenya tomorrow, he will reach his 250th match.

“It will be pretty amazing, I am sure. I still recall my very first match for the Blitzboks.

“I came off the bench against France in London and my first act was to defend, but the guy stepped me blind,” Kok recalls with a laugh.

“Luckily I could work back and then won the turn-over two phases later. My first start was at the same tournament, in the quarter-finals against England.

“This team has meant so much to me – I was part of the team that won the World Series twice and then got an Olympic medal as well. Those are pretty special moments,” said Kok. “That is why I give everything every time I play; it is my way of thanking all who believed in me and has my back on the field as well.”

Kok hopes for a final hurrah at the Olympic Games in Japan in July.

“Yes, I am pushing hard for a place in that squad, but that is still in the distance,” he said.

“For now, we need to focus on what awaits us this weekend. We are in a tough pool and we can’t expect any favours from anyone.

“It will be great if we can win it, but that is not where the focus is. We need to make sure we execute our game plan in order to be successful,” he concluded.