Blitzbok have experienced unit for Hamilton Sevens

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Having missed the opening two rounds, du Preez, (pictured) who will be playing in his 72nd tournament is South Africa's most experienced player and was keen to be among the action again.

 

South Africa, after winning the Dubai Sevens, share the top of the points table with New Zealand who won the Cape Town Sevens.

 

Du Preez said as the side boarded their flight to New Zealand that the Blitzbok were keen to maintain their good form.

 

"We started well in the past and managed to maintain that form, and that helped us to perform well in the World Series. From that perspective, two very important tournaments await us, with Sydney following a week after Hamilton.

 

"Good performances will stack up the points and that is what you are playing for, after all," he said.

 

The side would not get ahead of themselves, however, he said.

 

"The focus remains on Japan in our first match. Past experiences have shown that if we stick to what we want to achieve and trust our structures, the result looks after itself.

 

"So, we are preparing for game one, day one, and making sure that through that performance we lay the foundation for us," he said.

 

While there is a format change, involving the elimination of quarterfinals in Hamilton, that didn't change the way South Africa were approaching the tournament in which they also play England and Kenya.

 

"We always aim to top our pool anyway, so nothing will really change in that regard. The pressure will be high as you cannot afford to drop a match, but we prepared well and will be ready to confront that," he said.

 

They will be without Siviwe Soyizwapi who is injured so Stedman Gans will lead the side.

 

"He has the attributes to do well. We are an experienced squad with a lot of senior players and all of us will support Stedman where needed," du Preez said.

 

Werner Kok, Cecil Afrika, Muller du Plessis, Angelo Davids and Gans will also be playing their first tournament of the season.

 

"Those guys are very keen to go out and do the business. We love playing for each other, for our families and for our country and the knowledge that those opportunities are on the doorstep will make any long-haul flight a pretty short one," he said.

 

The All Blacks Sevens are drawn to play Scotland, the United States and Wales.

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