“We all know that 2020 will be a tough year in that regard as coach Neil Powell wanted to give the wider group an opportunity to stake a claim for the final squad that will go to the Olympics”
Blitzboks forward Impi Visser says he’s keen to grab his chance when they go up against Japan, England and Kenya in a tough Pool B at FMG Stadium Waikato this weekend.
Visser (pictured) missed out on the World Sevens Series opener back in December, but he did travel to Dubai as a member of the SA Rugby Sevens Academy, a group that featured the likes of Branco du Preez, Cecil Afrika, Werner Kok and Angelo Davids and went on to win the International Invitational tournament.
All those players are part of the squad for the Hamilton leg, and Visser, who admitted that missing out on the opening leg of the 2019/20 Series was disappointing, is looking forward to making the most of his opportunities in the third tournament of the season.
“We all know that 2020 will be a tough year in that regard as coach Neil Powell wanted to give the wider group an opportunity to stake a claim for the final squad that will go to the Olympics,” said Visser.
“Not to be part of the first squad for Dubai was disappointing, but only mentally. Physically, I was still on the field with like likes of Branco, Cecil, Werner and Angelo, which demanded that you give your best.
“You do feel bad when you are not in the team, but there is a bigger picture and it is not the end of the world.
“Emotionally one gets down a bit and there are some thoughts going through your head. You question your abilities, but for me that only lasted for a short while. It is all about how you use the opportunity that you are given, and I am keen to grab mine this weekend,” he said.
Visser was the official reserve for the Cape Town Sevens and got a call-up on the final day when Kurt-Lee Arendse picked up an injury. He also played in the final, which New Zealand won 7-5.
While he’s be especially motivated this weekend, Visser highlighted the importance of contributing to the team effort.
“In this squad, it is never about yourself – you need to put the team first and contribute, and that will be my goal, just to make sure my personal performance is one I am proud of and is beneficial to the team effort,” he said.
Blitzboks’ Hamilton schedule
Tomorrow: vs Japan (2.03am SA time); vs England (7.30am)
Sunday: vs Kenya (1.13am)