Seven up for Cecil Afrika


He’s the new star of Sevens rugby, very quick and with an exceptional eye for a gap. And once he races into one . . . well, he was also the top try-scorer in the recent Sevens World Series.

Cecil Afrika, who learnt to play rugby in the dusty streets of Missionvale, Port Elizabeth, has become a world sensation in a Blitzbokke team that has South Africans enthusiastic about our chances at Sevens’ Olympic debut in 2016.

Like his hero Gio Aplon the modest star from the Eastern Cape has been blessed with vision, skill, astonishing fleet-footedness and tons of daring, all of which count more than other players’ supposed weight advantage.

Cecil will now be a big favourite when the International Rugby Board selects its Sevens superstar of the year later this year.

His spark certainly helped fire up a young Blitzbokke team brimming with talent and courage.

Thanks to their tournament titles in England and Scotland they moved from fifth to second place in the World Series race, pipped at the post only by eventual series winners New Zealand.

It has been three years since any team has been able to win two consecutive tournaments. And they did it in style.

In fact their performance against Australia in the final in Scotland was the stuff of a Hollywood suspense drama. At 7-28 their fate seemed sealed but they fought back to 36-35 – a score that included an extraordinary try by Sibu Sithole in the dying moments of the game.

It seems Cecil’s fast comeback after suffering a broken jaw at the World Series’ George tournament in December was exactly the muti the Blitzbokke needed for the long-awaited tournament title they won at the USA Sevens in Las Vegas in February.

“Star quality!”, “Superb!”, “The key player in this Sevens World Series!” sportswriters enthused – and how right they were. As the top try-scorer and overall points-maker in the series Cecil Afrika is the Sevens man of the season.

Read more about the 23-year-old Blitzbokke hero in YOU dated 9 June 2011. CLICK HERE to follow us on Twitter.

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