Kok: I have a target on my back

2015-12-01 08:23
Werner Kok (Getty Images)

Cape Town - Werner Kok was named the World Rugby Sevens Player of the 2014/15 season this month, and he believes that such acclaim puts a target on his back going into the 2015/16 World Series opener in Dubai this weekend. 

Kok is part of a new-look 12-man Blitzboks squad that includes 15s stars Francois Hougaard and Juan de Jong as preparations for the 2016 Rio Olympics get underway.

And while there is a lot of uncertainty surrounding the shape that coach Neil Powell's squad will take over the course of the season, there are no question marks over what Kok brings to the table.

But the 22-year-old is not getting carried away, and while he has enjoyed the hype surrounding the award, he has his mind firmly back on business.

"It puts a target on my back," he said.

"They're going to look at videos and they're going to target me. I think if I play my game and slot that out it will help a bit ... I'm going to give it my all and focus on the small things to be better than last year.

"To play with the guys, I think they're going to help me forget it and help me be better ... I want to be better still."

The Blitzboks, defending champions in Dubai, are pooled alongside  Scotland, Samoa and Russia.

The Springbok Sevens squad for the opening World Series tournaments in Dubai and Cape Town are (SARU contracted unless specified, number of World Series tournaments in brackets):

1. Chris Dry (44) 
2. Philip Snyman (30) 
3. Francois Hougaard (0) 
4. Kwagga Smith (15) 
5. Werner Kok (18) 
6. Kyle Brown (48 – captain) 
7. Cheslin Kolbe (DHL Western Province, 8)
8. Ryno Benjamin (Toyota Free State Cheetahs, 29) 
9. Justin Geduld (18) 
10. Cecil Afrika (38) 
11. Seabelo Senatla (19) 
12. Juan de Jongh (DHL Western Province, 1)

Read more on:    blitzboks  |  sevens world cup  |  werner kok  |  rugby

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