Home Sport Rugby Special weekend for Blitzboks, says Geduld

Special weekend for Blitzboks, says Geduld

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“So, to be running out for my 50th is a very special feeling and I am very grateful. It is tough out there and not many players make it to 50.”

THE Blitzboks are hardly short of motivation as they look to turnaround their disappointing performance in New Zealand last week at this weekend’s Sydney Sevens but they will also want to help one of their stalwarts celebrate a personal milestone.

Justin Geduld will be playing his 50th tournament, only the seventh Blitzbok to reach a half-century of HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series tournaments.

Eight years ago, when he made his debut for his country at the Wellington Sevens, he broke his hand, and the then 19-year-old could not have imagined how his career would turn out.

For Geduld, that day in 2012 at the Westpac Stadium feels like a lifetime ago.

“I never thought of playing 50 tournaments for my country when I started out, especially after breaking my hand in my very first match. At that time, we used 35 tournaments as a benchmark, now 50 seems to be the new standard,” Geduld reflected.

“So, to be running out for my 50th is a very special feeling and I am very grateful. It is tough out there and not many players make it to 50.”

Three of those who did, Branco du Preez, Chris Dry and Cecil Afrika, will share the moment with Geduld this weekend, while Frankie Horne, Kyle Brown and Philip Snyman will no doubt be sending messages of support to their former teammate.

Aptly, the Cape Town-born and raised player moved past 1000 career points in December at the HSBC Cape Town Sevens, but true to his playmaker attitude, Geduld prefers others in the limelight, rather than himself, as he does when putting teammates in space to score tries.

Brown and Du Preez celebrated their 50th caps with tournament wins and for Geduld to do the same, they need to play as a team this, he feels.

“We did not play our best last weekend, but the belief is there as well as the knowledge that we have been successful in the past when we trusted our structures,” he said.

“That is one of the elements we need to be better at this weekend and not play as individuals.”