blitzboks Los Angeles Sevens

Impi Visser believes the Springbok Sevens team are good enough to come out on top at the end of the 2023 HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series. Photo: SA Rugby website

Blitz over glitz as Springbok Sevens side target Los Angeles crown

Impi Visser believes the Springbok Sevens team are good enough to come out on top at the end of the 2023 HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series.

blitzboks Los Angeles Sevens

Impi Visser believes the Springbok Sevens team are good enough to come out on top at the end of the 2023 HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series. Photo: SA Rugby website


Impi Visser
believes the Springbok Sevens team are good enough to come out on top at the end of the 2023 HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series.

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According to the Blitzbok forward, everyone in the squad are willing and able to give it their all at the HSBC Los Angeles Sevens, the sixth of 11 tournaments in the series, this weekend.

Visser, in his 27th tournament for the Blitzboks, knows what it takes to win a World Series, as do a couple of his fellow forwards, such as Zain Davids, Ryan Oosthuizen, Christie Grobbelaar and James Murphy, and all of them will have crucial roles to play if they want to be successful.

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“We need to lay the foundation for the backs to play,” said Visser.

“If we do our jobs well, the backs will prosper. A school coach of mine used to say the forwards need to carry the piano and put it down for the backs to play, and it is pretty much the same principle here.

“If we bring them energy, they will certainly play the piano.”

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Visser feels the forwards’ experienced core have to count this weekend: “We do see ourselves as the engine room, and we accept our roles of getting the car on the road and running smoothly.

“The younger group amongst us, mainly backs, have a lot of potential and talent and it is exciting times for us to see them express that. I am looking forward to the next two weeks and what it can bring.”

Visser will play with a specially designed mask and a scrum cap at Dignity Health Sports Park this weekend, the unusual appearance due to some facial injuries he sustained at the previous tournament in Sydney last month.

“It is all for the greater cause – the commitment from the team is such that no one will leave anything on the field,” he said.

“We are not scared to do that for the team. There were some bumps and bruises carried over from the Sydney tournament, but we are all fit, have been cleared to play and we are ready to do it all over again.”

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Visser trained with the mask, and it was not long before nicknames appeared. Seeing that they are in Hollywood country after all, “The Mask” became the most popular.

“We had some time off yesterday and some of the guys went to the Hollywood sign for some pictures actually,” Visser recalled.

“Today, it is back to training, which has been good. Everyone are ready for a good weekend.”

Captain’s photo ahead of Los Angeles Sevens. Photo: SA Rugby website

Blitzboks’ Pool B fixtures (SA time):

Saturday 25 February
Canada – 21:49

Sunday 26 February
Uruguay – 01:02
Ireland – 05:03

Other pools:
Pool A: New Zealand, Samoa, USA, Chile
Pool C: Fiji, Australia, Kenya, Japan
Pool D: France, Great Britain, Argentina, Spain

Springbok Sevens squad (with World Series stats) for the HSBC LA Sevens:
Ryan Oosthuizen – 37 tournaments, 177 matches (185 points, 37 tries)
Impi Visser – 26 tournaments, 135 matches (125 points, 25 tries)
Zain Davids – 37 tournaments, 187 matches (170 points, 34 tries)
James Murphy – 13 tournaments, 58 matches (55 points, 11 tries)
Christie Grobbelaar – 12 tournaments, 60 matches (95 points, 19 tries)
Masande Mtshali – 4 tournaments, 4 matches
Siviwe Soyizwapi (captain) – 45 tournaments, 233 matches (700 points, 140 tries)
Travis Ismaiel – uncapped
Jaiden Baron – 2 tournaments, 10 matches (20 points, 4 tries)
Ricardo Duarttee – 4 tournaments, 23 matches (102 points, 7 tries, 32 conversions, 1 penalty goal)
Ronald Brown – 9 tournaments, 49 matches (303 points, 29 tries, 79 conversions)
Shilton van Wyk – 9 tournaments, 51 matches (115 points, 23 tries)
Mfundo Ndhlovu – 11 tournaments, 49 matches (60 points, 12 tries)