Hougaard relishes change of code

2015-11-04 16:44
Francois Hougaard (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Francois Hougaard is relishing the opportunity of playing sevens rugby for the Blitzboks.

The Bulls utility back is one of a host of 15-a-side stars added to the Springbok Sevens squad for the upcoming season.

Hougaard, who has played 35 Tests for the Springboks, signed a sevens contract that will run from November 1 until after the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.

Hougaard will still be eligible for parts of the Bulls’ Super Rugby campaign but he is likely to feature in about 2-4 tournaments on the Sevens World Series circuit as coach Neil Powell looks to build a squad for the Olympics.

“It’s always been a dream of mine to play sevens,” Hougaard told a media scrum in Cape Town on Wednesday.

“It will be nice to have so much space. Obviously they made quite a big point with the conditioning and fitness - it’s next level but what is great about the human is that we all adapt and I’ve never been scared of hard work.”

After being excluded from the Springboks’ Rugby World Cup squad, Hougaard focused on playing Currie Cup rugby for the Bulls where he excelled at scrumhalf.

He will however not be using the sevens opportunity to prove a point to the 15-man national selectors.

“It (sevens) is a different game, but I think the change is good for me. When I played Currie Cup this year I felt like a total different player.

“It was a big disappointment not making the Rugby World Cup squad, but it happened, there was nothing I could do about it. I changed it into something positive, just changing my work ethic. And now joining the sevens is amazing.”

Springbok Sevens training squad:

Cecil Afrika, Tim Agaba, Rayno Benjamin, Kyle Brown, Branco du Preez, Carel du Preez, Damian de Allende, Stephan Dippenaar, Chris Dry, Juan de Jongh, Justin Geduld, Warrick Gelant, Lungelo Gosa, Bryan Habana, Cornal Hendricks, Francois Hougaard, Frankie Horne, Dewald Human, Ryan Kankowski, Werner Kok, Cheslin Kolbe, Jaco Kriel, Oupa Mohoje, Lwazi Mvovo, Sibahle Maxwane, Ruhan Nel, Sandile Ngcobo, Sphamandla Ngcobo, Dylan Sage, Seabelo Senatla, Philip Snyman, Kwagga Smith, Rosco Speckman, Warren Whiteley


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