The South African men’s sevens rugby team is fully motivated to turn fortunes around when the new World Series season kicks off in Dubai this weekend. The Blitzboks had a disappointing 2022/2023 season and finished seventh on the log, their worst position in the more than 20-year history of the World Series.
Dubai has always been a happy hunting ground for the Blitzboks and they are the defending champions. But it was their only title last season and a better mental approach is needed.
“The biggest thing is in your mind and it’s just overcoming those mental barriers that you formulate, and it builds up as you hit stumble blocks and you fail over and over, but this group has a lot of determination and grit and we’ve showed with the games we played against Australia in the warm-ups and we must realize that our confidence comes from our preparations,” says Impi Visser of the Blitzboks.
These sentiments are echoed by all the players in the team and there’s only one way to fix it.
“Last year didn’t go as planned and as a team, we disappointed a lot of people especially ourselves that’s why we’re looking forward to the season. I think we had a great camp coming into the season and we have a lot to prove and we are keen for the challenge,” says another Blitzbok Masande Mtshali.
The Blitzboks will have to hit the ground running as they play Samoa in their opening match on Saturday morning while New Zealand and Canada are the other teams in their group.