Geduld returns to Blitzboks for Toulouse leg
South Africa's Blitzboks are looking to regain some lost ground at the penultimate HSBC World Sevens tournament in Toulouse at the weekend.
New Zealand's All Blacks Sevens lead the World Series by 24 points and are the only team, other than hosts France, to have qualified for next year's Olympic Games Sevens in Paris.
South Africa ranks seventh on 106 points, behind New Zealand, Argentina, Fiji, France, Australia and Samoa. They face a challenging task to lift themselves into the top five for Games qualifications this weekend and in the final round in London next weekend.
But with some key players returning from injuries, they are confident of improved performances.
Justin Geduld, who has played over 50 tournaments and scored over 1000 points, will play in his first tournament in 15 months. He suffered knee ligament injuries at Seville in Spain when South Africa completed six consecutive tournament wins. He will be joined by Ronald Brown and Dewald Human, both playmakers who will strengthen the side.
Geduld played for South Africa at the 2016 and 2020 Olympics and is confident they can secure a place by next weekend.
Geduld told South African media, "I did not realise it until someone mentioned it, but everyone in our squad has won on the World Series and knows what it takes to win a tournament and a World Series.
"Combine that with the knowledge we trained well in Stellenbosch during the last couple of weeks, and there is reason for optimism."
He thought he would not recover in time to play in Toulouse and London, but he credited the support team who got him ready to play.
"I am excited and just so happy to be back.
"The big focus is getting back onto the field and representing my country again. I am ready for this moment as I was waiting for it, patiently."
Captain Siviwe Soyizwapi, who is playing his 50th tournament in Toulouse, said, "People should know by now the Springbok Sevens team is one that loves pressure and responds to that. We like it tough, we are better in those situations and that is what makes us who we are."
In Toulouse, South Africa is drawn in a pool with France, Fiji and the USA.
New Zealand has Uruguay, Kenya and Canada in its pool.
Sevens whānau reunion 🖤🙌🏽— NZ Sevens (@nz_sevens) May 7, 2023
Great night out in the stands with Black Ferns Sevens #35 @kayla_macca, supporting All Blacks Sevens # 248 @AhkiPita. Always good to catch up with the Ahkis when in town! @StadeToulousain pic.twitter.com/XKgk0vmrxW