Senatla ‘very emotional’ about Ngcobo


Ngcobo was included in the Springbok Sevens squad on Wednesday for the next two legs of the World Rugby Sevens Series taking place in Wellington (January 30-31) and Sydney (February 6-7).

Little is known about the 26-year-old, but his good mate Senatla says: “You guys should keep a close eye on him!”

Ngcobo has come through the SA Sevens Academy side, which is coached by former Blitzbok captain Paul Delport.

Delport told Independent Media at the squad announcement in a sweltering Stellenbosch on Wednesday that Ngcobo is a “strong guy” who has acquitted himself well at Academy tournaments around the world, so playing on the world stage for the Blitzbokke shouldn’t be a problem.

Then he also has the experience of Senatla to rely on. “Me and Seabelo chill every day – he’s my boy and we talk about a lot of stuff. Even when he’s overseas, he asks me stuff – ‘What do you see?’ – and he gives advice and I give advice. I’m grateful and it’s a privilege to play next to a guy like him. We get along so well, so it’s very easy for us to communicate,” Ngcobo said.

“The tournaments I’ve played with the Academy team have been instrumental in my career, leading up to this point. I’ve learned a lot through the conditioners and the coaches, and they’ve prepared me well to be here.

“In 15-man rugby (where he has played for the Falcons and Griquas), I am a centre and a wing, and I will play the same role for the Sevens for now. I think you can only watch! Just switch on the TV and I am sure I will make you guys proud.”

Senatla, who is one of the world’s best Sevens players, couldn’t hide his excitement on Wednesday when speaking about Ngcobo’s inclusion. “Jeez, guys, it’s a very emotional topic – how hard that guy has worked to get where he is right now. He’s been in the Academy side for more than a year and he’s always working the hardest in training. It’s just fair to him to be given a chance,” Senatla said.

“That’s what the system does for you. I know he’s going to do well. He just needs to relax and calm down, and play to the best of his abilities.

“He’s small, but he’s a little big, which means he is a strong player. He is very agile and good in smaller spaces, like Cheslin Kolbe. He is pretty solid in defence as well. You guys should keep a close eye on him!”


Original source: Senatla ‘very emotional’ about Ngcobo