Cape Town - SA Sevens and Western Province speedster Seabelo Senatla says making the Springbok squad for the tour to Europe has been a dream come true.
Senatla is recognised as one of the rising stars in South African rugby after his impressive performances for the Blitzbokke during recent Sevens World Series campaigns and Western Province during the Currie Cup.
His form and impressive growth has been rewarded as he was one of five newcomers named in the Springbok squad for the end-of-year tour next month. He was also invited to train with the Springboks during the team’s time in Cape Town during the Rugby Championship.
Many people don’t realise that the 21-year-old was playing 3rd XV club rugby in 2010.
Senatla got his big break after an impressive campaign for CUT during the 2012 Varsity Shield. He went on to play for the Free State Under-19s and Under-21s, before being drafted into the Springbok Sevens squad in 2013.
With his explosive pace and power with ball in hand, he has been a standout performer on the international sevens circuit.
Western Province then secured his services for the Currie Cup this season, and Senatla proved to be a major coup as he played an influential role during the union’s run to the domestic title. He’s set to play Super Rugby for the Stormers next season.
Senatla is now looking forward to another exciting chapter when he tours Europe with the Springboks in November.
“It’s honestly been a remarkable journey. Looking back to the past three years, it’s been amazing to experience the awesome opportunities that have come my way,” Senatla told MyPlayers.co.za.
“Each step during my journey has contributed to my development.
“My time with the Springbok Sevens helped me improve my skills on attack and defence. It’s a great learning curve for all young players.
“My time at Western Province added so my growth in the 15s game. There are times that the game is tight and there are hardly any opportunities or space to attack, which I experienced during the final at Newlands. However, this has shown me where I can contribute in other areas. I’ve learned the importance of accuracy and making all-round contributions that exceed my role as a wing.
“I hope this will prepare me for my time with the Springboks, where I hope to learn even more lessons.”
Senatla is looking forward to training with the experienced Springboks, especially his childhood hero Bryan Habana.
“I’m sure all the experienced guys in the squad will teach me new things and give me helpful advice,” said Senatla. “I’m looking forward to working with a guy like Bryan Habana. He’s been a guy I’ve looked up to since I was a kid. I’m very excited to have the opportunity to spend time with him during the European tour.”
Senatla has received many well wishes after being named in the Springbok squad, which has inspired him.
“My family back home in Welkom are all very proud of me. I’m glad I can make them proud,” explained Senatla. “My parents even travelled down to watch the final at Newlands. It was great being able to play in front of them, especially during a big game like the Currie Cup final. They said it was an unbelievable experience."
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