JJ excited by Sevens stint

2014-11-10 16:00
Sport24 columnist JJ Engelbrecht (File)
Cape Town - While XVs rugby will still be his priority, Springbok and Blue Bulls centre JJ Engelbrecht is excited about joining the SA Sevens training camp this week.

Engelbrecht was one of the surprise inclusions in the Springbok Sevens camp, which began at the team's base in Stellenbosch on Monday.

Other notable names included are Stormers and Western Province fullback Cheslin Kolbe, exciting Bulls trio Jesse Kriel, Warren Gelant and Duncan Matthews, Cheetahs speedster Rayno Benjamin and Golden Lions duo Kwagga Smith and Mark Richards.

Engelbrecht said the success of South African sevens rugby is very attractive.

"The Springbok Sevens have done very well in recent years," Engelbrecht told "They play an exciting brand of sevens rugby, which has attracted the attention of many 15s players.

"I'm looking forward to my time with the team. It will be great to see where I can fit in and if I can establish a future role with the squad, especially with the Olympic Games coming up."

Engelbrecht will still be focused on his commitments at the Bulls and Springboks, but will be open to featuring for the sevens team whenever possible.

"My main focus is XVs, but if there is an opportunity to play for the Springbok Sevens, I'll definitely be interested. I look forward to training alongside the sevens guys in Stellies and learning more about the format," explained Engelbrecht.

The 25-year-old also spent time with the Springboks during their two-week training camp in Stellenbosch ahead of their European Tour. Engelbrecht said he is focused on reclaiming his place in the squad with a good season in 2015.

"It was great to reconnect with the guys and running through the national structures again," said Engelbrecht. "I'm happy to still be part of the system.

"My goals for next year is to have a good season with the Bulls and play with confidence. If I can do that, everything else will fall in place."

Engelbrecht last week his off time in his hometown of Port Elizabeth with family and friends. 

"I come down here at least twice a year, whenever I have the opportunity to," said Engelbrecht. "I love spending time with friends and family. I enjoy the downtime at home and hitting a few holes at the golf course."

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Read more on:    blitzbokke  |  jj engelbrecht  |  sevens  |  rugby

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