Sako Makata is set to make his debut for the Blitzboks in the Las Vegas leg of World Rugby’s Sevens Series. The 20-year-old Makata says he has been eagerly awaiting his opportunity to represent the South African Sevens rugby team.

Four other youngsters, JC Pretorius, Ryan Oosthuizen, Mfundo Ndlovu and Muller du Plessis have also been included in the squad.

Makata has represented the Western Province under 19 side in the 15-man code and spent the last two years at the SA Rugby Sevens Academy, where he has proven his worth and has now been rewarded with an opportunity to make his mark for the senior side.

“Coming from 15s, it’s always a different switch, a different mentality. The little details like passing the ball or positioning yourself when you have to get that pass, is very crucial. So for me to be able to play in the Academy, gave me a taste of what to expect on the circuit. So I think the Academy was a very good experience for me.”

Makata is determined to make the most of this opportunity.

“I’m very excited to just run out there on that pitch and just do my best to make my country proud. Obviously, make the coach and the boys very proud as well because it’s a big honour for me to be here.”

The Blitzboks are the defending series champions, but are currently fourth in the standings on 57 points; 19 points behind log leaders, New Zealand.

South Africa will face England, Japan and Chile in their Group C matches on Friday.