The Springboks Sevens team have already won the World Rugby Sevens Champions for 2016-2017 with still one tournament to go in the regular season, writes Jacques Nortier
This speak volumes of what Niel Powel and the management team have accomplished with this group of players the last couple of years.
This success has not just come overnight and it is something Powel and SARU have built on for a couple of seasons now.
They have come second in the Sevens Championships for several years now and won the Bronze Medal at the Olympics last year
The Blitzbokke were Champions in Dubai, Wellington, Australia and Las Vegas and they have come in second in Vancouver, Hong Kong. They did slip away in Singapore with a sixth place but were has just been crowned champions again in France over the weekend.
Consistency is what wins you the Championship on the sevens circuit and that is exactly what the Blitzbokke of Powel have done this year.
To understand the success of the Blitzbokke you need to acknowledge what have been done by Powel and SARU to make this team the best in the world.
The first secret to success was the fact that SARU took full control of the Cape Town Sevens tournament and the Blitzbokke.
The Cape Town Sevens was voted the best tournament by World Rugby for 2015/16 and this season it went even bigger and better.
The second thing that SARU did was to contract all the players and management of the Blitzbokke.
In contrast to that Super Rugby and Currie Cup were players and coaches are controlled and appointed by the franchises and unions.
You do not need to be a rocket scientist to get the picture here.
New Zealand rugby have always been in control of their Super Rugby franchises and the player’s contracts. This have made controlling the top players in their country much easier and giving them full control of not just the players but the way New Zealand teams play.
It is then also not hard to see why they have been the dominant force in Super Rugby the same as the Blitzbokke have become on the sevens circuit.
SARU with the Blitzbokke have shown that the model being used with the Blitzbokke and in New Zealand is the only way one can expect constant success.
If SARU can implement the same model in our Super Rugby we will make SA Rugby much stronger and having our top players playing in our franchises.
Maybe then we can have teams competing with the New Zealand teams in Super Rugby and win Championships like the Blitzbokke is doing.