New Springbok Sevens captain Mzwandile Stick is delighted that he has been entrusted with the responsibility of leading South Africa in the forthcoming tournaments in the IRB Sevens series in Dubai and George.
Die Burger reports that coach Paul Treu was still unsure who would lead the side prior to his squad’s departure for Dubai.
Apart from Stick, the other candidates were experienced players such as Marius Schoeman, Mpho Mbiyozo and former South Africa Under-21 captain Paul Delport.
The 24-year-old Stick takes over from Neil Powell, who has had to withdraw from the two tournaments after injuring an arm in a training match against the Arabian Gulf in Cape Town.
‘Led the side previously’
Treu said: “I was looking for somebody who could put his hand up on tour. The team decided that Stick should be the captain. He is experienced with leadership capabilities and respected by the other players.”
Stick said that he had been involved with the Sevens set-up for six years and knows exactly what it’s about.
“I see it as a challenge and hope to lead from the front. I led the side previously when Jonathan Mokuena was still the captain. I would like to forge it into a closely-knit unit,” said Stick.
Apart from Powell and Mokuena, the team has lost experienced players such as Fabian Juries, Kabamba Floors, Schalk van der Merwe and Danwel Demas.
However, Stick is confident that the team will give a good account of itself.
“We will miss Neil a lot because we are used to his leadership. It’s also going to be difficult to cope without so many of our senior players, but the young guys are eager to prove themselves,” said Stick.
He added that newcomers Philip Snyman (Free State) and Kyle Brown (Western Province) had adapted well to the Sevens culture and he has full confidence in their abilities.
“The training game we played against the Arabian Gulf served as good preparation. The big test will come on Friday when we run out in Dubai,” said Stick.
“There will be even more pressure in George. Previously we lost there in the semi-finals.”Tweet