Cape Town - Blitzboks
coach Neil Powell praised his players, management and support back home
after the Springbok Sevens team won their fifth title of the season and won the 2016/17 World Sevens Series title in
Paris on Sunday.
Powell added that the whole squad are grateful for this victory, which they had worked for three years.
"We are extremely grateful and blessed, the team worked for this for
three seasons. Last year we came close, but this time we managed to do
it," Powell said.
"I have to give the guys credit, they are an incredible group that never feared hard work and they deserve this.
"We are also lucky to have management members back home and on tour
who work incredibly hard for the team and I want to thank all for that.
The support we get from SA Rugby is also instrumental in our success."
Powell also thanked the supporters of the team, saying that they are trying to be a team for all the people in South Africa.
"We want to make South Africa proud and hopefully this will help towards that," the coach said.
Powell also became the first person to win the World Rugby Sevens
Series as a player and as a coach.
He was part of the previous Blitzboks
team that clinched the title in 2008/09 (with Paul Treu as coach) and
now won it as coach of the same team he played for in 32 tournaments and
captained as well during his career.
"I am much more relieved now than in 2009 when I was a player. Back
then I was just happy to win it, this time there is huge relief," said
"And feeling really blessed. We are not finished though, we want to
finish the series strong next week in London and keep chasing that
perfect game. We have high standards and keep pushing to improve as a
"The team focus has always being inwards and that contributed to their success.
"We keep the standards high and it does not matter who our opponents
are, we try and play to those standards. We pride ourselves on our
defense and want to be clinical on attack. We don't always get it right,
but it does not stop of us from trying," Powell concluded.
Meanwhile SA Rugby President, Mark Alexander, congratulated the team with the series win.
"It is great for the team and for SA Rugby. We are really pleased," said Alexander.
"The Blitzboks have made us very proud as a nation and we want to
congratulate them with this fantastic achievement. They are not only
true ambassadors for our country, but true champions as well."