Sevens

Jean recalls 2002 sevens triumph in New Zealand

 Jean de Villiers (Gallo)
Jean de Villiers (Gallo)

Cape Town - Jean de Villiers says he has fond memories of winning the New Zealand Sevens title with the Blitzboks in New Zealand in 2002.

De Villiers was speaking to Netwerk24 on the eve of this weekend's New Zealand Sevens in Hamilton.

"I can remember it in great detail. It was an historic day. To achieve something like that in New Zealand was exceptional," De Villiers said.

The Blitzboks defeated Samoa 17-14 in the final in Wellington in the early days of the World Rugby Sevens Series.

"On the first day we lost to France (17-7) but we decided to get our act together," De Villiers added.

De Villiers played 11 sevens tournaments in 2002, before making his debut for the Springboks in the 15-man code against France in Marseille later that year.

The 37-year-old would go on to play 109 Tests for the Boks between 2002 and 2015. He became Bok captain in 2012.

Since the 2002 triumph, the Blitzboks have won only one other title in New Zealand - in 2017 in Wellington - and will be eager to make it No 3 in Hamilton this weekend.

De Villiers said Blitzboks coach Neil Powell has done well with the systems he incorporated.

"Every time an injury occurs then there is someone that steps in and makes his mark."

The Blitzboks open their account against Kenya on Friday evening South African time (23:22), before matches against France (03:10) and Scotland (07:22) on Saturday.

The Springbok Sevens squad for the New Zealand Sevens:

1. Chris Dry (64 tournaments; 319 matches, 460 points, 92 tries)

2. Philip Snyman (captain – 56 tournaments; 257 matches, 351 points, 64 tries, 16 conversions)

3. Impi Visser (2 tournaments, 12 matches, 10 points, 2 tries)

4. Zain Davids (15 tournaments; 70 matches, 50 points, 10 tries)

5. Werner Kok (39 tournaments; 196 matches, 450 points, 90 tries)

6. Kyle Brown (67 tournaments; 339 matches, 435 points, 87 tries)

7. Branco du Preez (63 tournaments; 316 matches, 1182 points, 84 tries, 378 conversions, 1 penalty, 1 drop goal)

8. Selvyn Davids (7 tournaments; 29 matches, 102 points, 14 tries, 16 conversions)

9. Justin Geduld (38 tournaments; 194 matches, 872 points, 89 tries, 212 conversions, 1 penalty)

10. Dewald Human (6 tournaments; 26 matches, 79 points, 9 tries, 17 conversions)

11. Siviwe Soyizwapi (20 tournaments; 101 matches, 310 points, 62 tries)

12. Stedman Gans (11 tournaments; 44 matches, 60 points, 12 tries)

13. JC Pretorius* (on debut)

* Replacement Player

The pools for the New Zealand Sevens:

A - Fiji, Australia, Argentina, Wales

B - USA, England, Samoa, Tonga

C - South Africa, Scotland, France, Kenya

D - New Zealand, Spain, Canada, Japan

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