Blitzboks star Seabelo Senatla insists the popular perception that it’s more difficult to switch from sevens to the fiftee-man format is a false one.
“Coming back to sevens from fifteens is quite a bit more difficult than the other way around, but it has become relatively easy for me now because I am used to it,” said the dynamic playmaker ahead of this weekend’s Cape Town leg of the World Sevens Series.
” I have become used to shifting through the systems.”
Despite eventually playing a vital role in South Africa’s triumph in Dubai last week, Senatla initially also had some difficulty adapting again.
In the Blitzboks’ first game against Uganda, he conceded a penalty at the breakdown and made on knock-on with the tryline at his mercy.
But he put that rustiness behind him very quickly.
The 24-year-old Senatla makes no secret of the fact that his ultimate ambition remains becoming a fully fledged Springbok yet is more than happy to jump between codes currently.
“I do have a plan of becoming a 15-man Springbok, and later in my career I will probably specialise in 15s and only play that code. But for now I like transitioning between the two as it helps me improve as a player and grow. Sevens gives you one thing and the 15-man game gives you others, so playing both makes you a more complete player,” he said.
A dominant theme of the Blitzboks’ off-season was indeed how various stars – Senatla, Kwagga Smith, Chris Dry, Rosko Specman, Cecil Afrika and Werner Kok – turned out for respective provinces and coach Neil Powell is pleased with how it’s added to his team’s overall product.
“The 15-man game has definitely helped the players who have returned and it has turned out to be a good decision to let so many of them play 15s,” said the Blitzboks mentor.
“Some of them have made improvements that have caused me to raise my eyebrows.”