Powell: Boks, Blitzboks can share lessons

Neil Powell (Gallo Images)
Neil Powell (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - The Blitzboks have given South African rugby reason to celebrate at a time when the national side is under fire. 

On Tuesday, coach Neil Powell and his squad returned from London and the end of the 2016/17 World Rugby Sevens Series as champions for the first time since the 2008/09 season. 


The Blitzboks have been simply sublime this season, winning five of the 10 tournaments on the World Series calendar. 

They have been in a different league to their opposition. They are fitter, stronger, quicker and their systems on both attack and defence have become clinical. 

It is the Blitzboks' ability to execute consistently that has really set them apart from the rest, and they are a team that is incredibly well coached. 

On Tuesday Seabelo Senatla, Juan de Jongh, Cheslin Kolbe and Cornal Hendricks all arrived at Cape Town International to welcome home the Blitzboks even though they are not currently involved. 

It signified the collective effort of this squad over the past four seasons, and under Powell's leadership they have thrived in all areas of the game and developed a team culture that borders on brotherhood. 

As the Springboks and coach Allister Coetzee prepare for a massive year in an attempt to right the wrongs of last year - they won just four of 12 Tests - they will need as much help as they can get. 

And while he acknowledges that Sevens and 15s are two very different animals, Powell says he is always keen to help out where he can. 

Last October, the Sevens boss was part of Coetzee's SA Rugby coaching Indaba in Cape Town.

"There are things that we can all learn from each other," Powell told media on Tuesday. 

"A lot of people say that we've found a blueprint, but we're a team that's been together for four years and we're always together.

"The Boks come together the week before a Test and then they must be successful and it's very difficult."

Powell said that he would welcome the opportunity to spend some time in and around the Bok set-up.

"Every team must use their own recipe at the end of the day, but I think there are things in our culture that we can learn from them and they can learn from us," he said.

"I think we can still learn a lot from them and it would be good to spend time with them in their system and see how they do things."

The Boks play the first of three Tests against France on June 10 in Pretoria. 

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