It is one of those inexplicable sporting ironies that the once-proud Springbok rugby team should have started a training camp outside Johannesburg at the weekend. This to rebuild and steer away from the shoals which caused havoc with last season’s disastrous campaign under a coach who surely only has one more shot at the job, while our Sevens Blitzboks took their fourth win out of five tournaments in the current World Rugby Sevens Series.
Even more meritorious is that the Blitzboks won the Las Vegas leg – beating Olympic champions Fiji in a final for the third time this season – without try-scoring machine Seabelo Senatla or the industrious dynamo Kwagga Smith, who are now playing Super Rugby.
This season’s record has been something of a triumph for Springbok Sevens coach Neil Powell, who has quietly gone about putting together a combination which clearly enjoy playing together.
This calm, cerebral approach to the job at hand, has proved to be a winner. Bok coach Allister Coetzee’s support staff have been bolstered by some significant rugby brains before the French arrive in June.
The Springbok management could do worse than taking a leaf out of Powell’s notebook.