Revitalised Speckman raring to go


Speckman was in fine form in previous tournaments, but was rested for the previous two tournaments of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series and missed the Hong Kong and Singapore events.

Coach Neil Powell included the playmaker for Paris, the second last tournament in the 2015/16 series.

“I am very happy to be here and I would like to thank the coach and management for giving me this opportunity to travel to Paris to play in this tournament,” Speckman said.

“To be back in the squad and playing is wonderful. It is not nice sitting at home and watch the boys play, but I understand the bigger scheme of things. The coach needed to give everybody an opportunity to see if they can add value with the Olympics in mind.” Speckman used the time not playing to sharpen his skills set.

“So while it was sad to stay behind that also gave me the chance to work on my fitness and some core basics at home.

“The guys back in Stellenbosch who were not playing in a particular tournament were also fantastic in their support and we all work together to be ready when called upon. They are always positive and supportive and that makes the hard work easier,” Speckman said.

“The only scary part is sitting back home and seeing how well the guys are playing without you. But I am not going to try and force the issue this week. It is about the team first and then you can try and express yourself.”

Speckman is keen to return to the sparkling form that he showed in Wellington.

“The team must do well all around. If they go forward, I can play but I also need to do my bit to make sure they are on the front foot. The great thing about the Blitzboks is the way we support each other. That teamwork has been a highlight for me,” said Speckman, who will play in his 12th tournament for South Africa.

The Blitzbokke suffered an injury scare on Tuesday, with Justin Geduld pulling up with a hamstring niggle. Powell decided not to risk further injury to one of his stars of the season and pulled Geduld out of the tournament. He will be replaced by Stephan Dippenaar, who will join the team on Wednesday.

Geduld, who scored 238 points so far this season (fifth on the overall list for the season), will return home to receive the treated needed to make sure he remains in contention for the Olympic Games. - African News Agency (ANA)

Original source: Revitalised Speckman raring to go