Springbok Sevens captain Philip Snyman is looking to start well at the Wellington tournament when the World Series returns this weekend.
Snyman led the Blitzboks all the way to the final at Westpac Stadium when he debuted as captain last year and is eyeing the title in 2017.
He shared the captaincy with Kyle Brown in the previous Series, leading the side in four of the ten tournaments, but has since taken over the captain’s armband permanently, with Brown deciding to step down from the role.
“It is hard to believe it is that time of the year already and that the Wellington tournament is about to kick off,” said an excited Snyman.
“We don’t have Kyle and Cecil Afrika here this time, due to injuries, and we have lost a lot of experience because of that. But I am pretty excited about the new guys who came in and we are keen to give it another go to try and win the tournament. We trained well this week and will be ready, come Saturday and the first match against Japan.”
The hard-working Snyman said that the Blitzboks adapted quickly to the 11-hour time difference between South Africa and New Zealand.
“It is hard to change around 11 hours as it is night and day, but we had some good sessions,” he added.
“Our attack looked sharp on Tuesday and the defence session we had today also had a good edge to it, so I am pretty pleased with the squad’s mindset at the moment.”
The Blitzboks face Japan, Australia and Fiji on Saturday in a tough Pool B, but Snyman is adamant that the team will embrace those challenges.
“Yes, that is a tough pool and we face three very good sides on Saturday, but we are ready to take them on,” said Snyman.
“We have to get past Japan first, so we are putting a lot of focus on that. We need to start well and build momentum towards day two. The foundation of our quest to win here will be laid on the first day and the first match, so we must start well.”
Zain Davids and Siviwe Soyizwapi will debut in Wellington, with the former also taking the field in the Blitzbok jersey for the first time.