Springbok Sevens speedster Siviwe “Shakes” Soyizwapi says he wants to make his own impact on the field during the World Series this season.
Soyizwapi, who is compassionately known as Shakes among his team-mates, has made great strides since his transition from 15s to sevens rugby.
After making a name for himself among the Eastern Province ranks, where he played Super Rugby for the Southern Kings in 2013, the Dale College old boy was quickly roped in by the national sevens coaches, who identified the 25-year-old as a talented addition to the squad.
Soyizwapi went on to make his Springbok Sevens debut last season and has been a key part of the extended squad since then. He was one of the regular starters for the Blitzboks in Las Vegas, which proved to be the team’s third tournament triumph in a row.
Soyizwapi said the team did well to overcome every challenge.
“The World Series stage is never easy. Everyone can now see that every match is tough,’ Soyizwapi said from the team’s camp. “But credit must be given to the players and management for the system we have in place. We have done very well to stick to our system, which has been working for us.
“The hard work is paying off and gives the players a great platform to work on during each tournament.”
Because of his pace and threat with ball in hand, many have compared the rise of Soyizwapi with Springbok Sevens colleague Seabelo Senatla. However, Soyizwapi believes he will make his own mark during the World Series.
“During the tournaments in Australia and New Zealand, the media asked me how I felt about filling the boots of Seabelo. However, I don’t think we should be compared. Each player is different – I will never be like him, and he will never be like me.
“I’m just focused on enjoying my game and to play the rugby I know. I want to add value to the team on the field and give my all in every match.”
By Gareth Duncan