Brown gets a little help
Cape Town – A clean slate awaits the Blitzbokke when they travel to Australia’s Gold Coast next week to begin their World Sevens Series campaign.
Leadership will play an important role in the outcome of the matches, with the robust nature of the seven man version of the game.
Current Blitzbokke captain, Kyle Brown, as eloquent as he may appear in front of the cameras, is just one man with the help of a collective guiding the team to greater heights.
“Kyle is good with the media. He speaks well and is impressionable when he represents us on the outside,” team mate, Frankie Horne told Thursday’s Die Burger.
According to Horne, leadership of the team is shared across a number of senior players within the squad.
“We have a leadership group which relieves the pressure off Kyle so that he does not have too much hay on his fork so that he will not be able to focus his energies on his own game.”
“We do not expect Kyle to carry the responsibility of the entire team on his shoulders. He knows that he can come to us experienced guys at any time.
Horne explains further that there is a system in place to ensure that every member of the squad is looked after equally.
“Every leader in the team has about three or four other players whom he looks after. We therefore share the responsibilities. It is especially worthwhile off the field when we do our analysis.
“We must carry over our experiences and lessons over to the young players, because they are the next generation of Sevens players. It makes sense to have a leadership group instead of one figurehead.”
The Blitzbokke have been drawn in Group B for next week’s opening tournament, the first Australian Sevens event to be held on the Gold Coast, along with hosts Australia, USA and Japan.
However, if for any reason, the regular captain cannot fulfil his on-field duties, Horne believes that their decision to split the leadership responsibilities will come into its own.
“We cannot afford to allow players to get used to only listening to one guy speak, because everything will fall apart if he has to leave the field.
“Paul, Neil and Kyle were injured in Scotland and then I had to take over the captaincy. The players reacted well. It is thanks to our structures on and off the field.”