7 December 2017

South Africa: Senatla Set for Double Blitzbok Milestone

South African speedster Seabelo Senatla will reach one, and probably two, significant milestones at the World Rugby Sevens Series Cape Town leg this weekend.

One of the most lethal finishers on the Sevens circuit, the 24-year-old will be playing in his 35th tournament in front of his home crowd.

What that means, in South African rugby circles, is that he will receive his full Springbok colours.

35 Sevens tournaments is the standard set by SA Rugby, and once a player reaches that number he is considered a fully-fledged Springbok.

Senatla will join several of his current team-mates, including Chris Dry, Kyle Brown, Philip Snyman, Branco du Preez and Cecil Afrika, in reaching the milestone.

Senatla will receive his Bok blazer at a capping ceremony on the eve of the Cape Town Sevens.

"It's amazing. I think it's been a long time coming. I would have received this a long time ago if I had continued playing Sevens (in 2016)," Senatla said on Wednesday.

"What an amazing honour to receive it playing my home tournament. I think that just makes it extra special. It's one of those dreams that money can't buy."

Following the completion of the 2016 Rio Olympics, where the Blitzboks won bronze, Senatla made the decision to focus on XVs with the Stormers.

As a result, his Sevens commitments have been limited.

Another milestone that he would surely have passed by now had he played through the 2016/17 season, and one that he will be hoping to reach in front of his home crowd this weekend, is 200 World Rugby Sevens Series tries.

Senatla, currently on 196 tries for the Blitzboks, is already his country's all-time leading try scorer and if he dots down four times in Cape Town he will become just the fifth player in the history of Sevens to score 200.

"That's also something that we're thinking about. That would be great," he said.

"Once we get onto the pitch and once we play, we forget about all these things. It's just numbers.

"If you can just contribute and give as much you can to the team, then that's my job done. It's all about doing what the team requires me to do."

The current '200-club' consists of Dan Norton (England, 269), Collins Injera (Kenya, 246), Santiago Gomez Cora (Argentina, 230) and Ben Gollings (220).

The Blitzboks are pooled alongside Kenya, Russia and France for the weekend.

Source: Sport24

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