To be part of the back-to-back HSBC Sevens World Series champions is an honor for James Murphy from Wynberg and has been extremely humbling. He was training in the SA Academy side for about three months joining the squad post Dubai 2017 and the South America tour early in January 2018.“I was training with the Academy side and my experience was based on Provincial 7’s, Varsity 7’s and then my biggest contributor was representing the Samurais in an international tournament at the end of 2017. When I heard coach Marius call out my name as he announced the travelling team to Hong Kong, I got the largest shot of adrenaline, but at the same time, relief. All my hard work and extra hours training had all paid off and the opportunity I had been dreaming of for years was finally before me. As you know, we made history by winning the Bronze medal after we were written off before our departure to Hong Kong, while the senior players were all in action at the Commonwealth Games in Australia,” James said.The advice Marius gave to “his” team (the Academy team) was that this was an opportunity for them, this is their chance and it is their’s to take.“When he announced the team he said nobody knows any of you, but trust the system and express yourselves and when you get on that plane on Monday to come home, everyone will know your names. That is exactly what happened and the world took notice of what we can do when we were not fazed by big names from Fiji, England, France, Australia or New Zealand. When we returned we received a lot more positive responses. To hear from players with over 60 caps “well done, you did seriously well, keep it up”, are the type of words I hold close to my heart. In terms of game criticism, the only criticism I listen to is the coaches. After Hong Kong I had positive feedback, which I took into my training and team culture contributions,” James said.With the Dubai Sevens looming he does not know how the selections are looking.“I thing what I’m most looking forward to this season is getting an opportunity to play and express myself and everything that I have been fortunate to learn in the past very tough three months of pre-season. Whether I am playing for the Academy or the Blitzboks, my duty remains the same and my willingness to learn and grow as a player will still be hungrier than ever. Another thing that I am excited to continue to do, is learn from my senior teammates. The experience of these players is irreplaceble, and the effort they put into helping us youngster is extremely generous and it just shows how they all value this successful system. Thus far I have only played in the Hong Kong and Singapore Sevens but will work hard to be part of the team that is competing in all ten tournaments,” he said.What people don’t know is that he is a passionate fisherman, loves golf and he played provincial hocky at school and no rugby after Grade 9.“My motto in live is that it’s not about how hard you can hit, but about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. There is also a misunderstanding amongst the public that my great-granddad is Japie Krige, my great-granddad is actually direct family to Japie Krige. I do believe that I have rugby in my blood as both my granddads played provinically. Going the rugby route was not initially my decision, it was only once I got to Maties, that I made the decision to play. With the aid of my family I decided I wanted to give it everything and this year I received the Rectors Award for Sport.“I am still currently registered to complete my Phd in Financial Planning (CFP), however with my recent inclusion in the 7’s I have slowed it down a bit and will pick it up again to complete it in the next year or two. I have finished my undergraduate at Maties and die B Comm Economics and Management Science with a double major in Finance and Logistics.“When I joined the Blitzboks Sandile Ngcobo (Stix) has really pushed me to boundaries I didn’t know I had and continues to push me to be the best I can be. I think it’s hard to pin point who of the senior players take the youngsters under their wings, but the stand outs to me that push me positively in the right direction positionally are Phillip Snyman, Kyle Brown and Chris Dry. The highlights of my 7’s career are my debut in Hong Kong and sharing Werner Kok’s 35th tournament with him.Coach Neill is admirable. His people skills, willingness to help and ability to establish balanced boundaries between mentor, coach and family. ,” James said.His mom and dad inspires him and still on his bucket list is to play in the Olympics, Commonwealth Games and a Sevens World Cup.“The best advice I received that I still follow was given by my Maties coach Ian Campbell-McGeachy and that is: Control the controllables. I am also the second player from Bishops after Matt Turner that plays sevens. He played for Ikeys and played for England,” James said.