Kyle Brown has stepped down as Springbok Sevens captain and will instead settle into a more supportive role to the younger leaders in the squad, with Philip Snyman appointed as the team’s new skipper.
Springbok Sevens coach Neil Powell praised Brown for the role he played over the last five seasons and emphasised that the Blitzbok veteran still has an important role to play in the team.
Powell also confirmed that Snyman, who captained the Blitzboks earlier this year in four tournaments, will take over as captain of the team.
“We already had a strong leadership group in the squad and Philip is a natural leader of men, so it was an easy choice. He will do well, I have no doubt,” he said.
Brown, who has played in 56 World Rugby Sevens Series tournaments to date, said: “The time has come where it feels right for me to step aside as captain of the team.
“It is has been an immense privilege that I have had for the better part of five years and we are in a great position to bring some new, fresh ideas into the role. I discussed the move with the Coach shortly after our return from the Olympics and we made the decision in the last week.”
Brown said there is a lot of thanks to give: “I cannot begin to express my gratitude for the opportunity to lead such an amazing group of people. Having said that, I must thank the leadership group that surrounded me, making the position most enjoyable. Thank you to everyone that placed their trust in me to fulfil the captaincy.”
He will not neglect any leadership duties, Brown confirmed.
“This season I look forward to moving into a supportive role with the aim of helping the young leaders find their rhythm and, most importantly, concentrating on adding as much value to the team on and off the field,” he added.
Powell said he accepted and respected Brown’s decision.
“Kyle always put the team before himself and this is another example of that,” explained Powell.
“We are starting to bring new faces into the squad, so it will be great to still have a leader like Kyle around to show them what the team culture is, what we stand for as a group and a team. Kyle still has a lot to offer as a player and I am convinced we will still see some inspiring performances from him this season. He was an amazing captain and we salute his contribution.”
The Springbok Sevens team for Dubai, the opening tournament of the 2016/17 World Rugby Sevens Series, will be named on Friday.