Springbok Sevens skipper Kyle Brown believes that Varsity Sports will provide a massive boost for the sport in South Africa.
Brown is a former Varsity Cup star who made his name playing for the Ikeys before going on to become one of the stalwarts in the national Sevens set-up, and he was full of praise for the concept of Varsity Sports as a whole.
He told varsitysportssa.com: “I think the whole Varsity Sports idea is fantastic, in rugby we have been relying on clubs to feed our provincial systems and if you look at some really successful systems, especially the athletics set-up in America – it is completely dominated by Varsities and the biggest rivalries are between the Varsities.
“Clubs can be very selective and sometimes they might lack funding, but Universities have been around for ages and they are one stronghold where you get a constant influx of South Africa’s cream,” he said.
Brown added that the Sevens tournaments coming up in Plettenberg Bay and Margate are sure to boost both the profile of the sport and the depth in players and coaches, which can only have a positive impact in the long run.
“It is awesome to see that this kind of thing includes Sevens, it is great for us, and I am really looking forward to it going ahead and Varsity Sports dominating the scene around South Africa.
“We have such an abundance of rugby players in South Africa and a lot of them fall by the wayside just because they don’t get that opportunity, so the more opportunities you can create for players out there the better.
“The more exposure you can get for guys that probably wouldn’t have been seen, it is just fantastic for them to get that chance and get on tv and maybe catch the eye of someone who wants to give them a chance,” said Brown.
The Bok Sevens skipper said that the best part about Varsity Sports Sevens is that it will encourage promising players to focus on the skills needed to make a career of Sevens rather than just as a springboard to a professional fifteens career.
“Sometimes you struggle to adapt from the fifteens game to the Sevens game, so we need the right type of player – a guy that is keen to play Sevens and enjoys playing in space and moving the ball around.
“Hopefully we will see coaches learning more from people like coach Paul Treu and the system so that can filter down and eventually boost the national side.
“There are a couple of us that have obviously dedicated our rugby careers to Sevens, and that is pretty much what we are looking for – players who want to play Sevens, not just guys who see it as an opportunity but also guys that are committed to the cause and what we stand for,” he said.