Birthday boy Pretorius still learning
It feels as if he has been around for ages, but it is only a year ago that a fresh-faced JC Pretorius made his international debut for the Springbok Sevens team in the World Rugby Sevens Series.
Pretorius turned 21 just before the 2019 Sydney Sevens and celebrated that milestone with his international debut, where he immediately showed immense appetite for rugby at this level. He had barely blown out the candles on his birthday cake in the team room, than Pretorius made his debut against Tonga, with a 45-5 victory helping him to a win in in his first match for the Blitzboks, despite only getting a minute of action on the field.
In his second match, a 25-10 win over Argentina, Pretorius got four minutes of action. His first defeat with the team came against Australia, when the hosts edged the Blitzboks 29-21 after leading 17-7 at the break in their final pool match.
And on the second day of action last year in Sydney, Pretorius got his first start in the green and gold, when England won 26-5, but the Blitzboks ended the tournament with a 12-10 win over Australia to claim fifth place overall.
Since then, he has played in Las Vegas, Vancouver (before injury ruled him out of Hong Kong and Singapore), London, Paris, Dubai, Cape Town and Hamilton.
More importantly, the former flanker who turns 22 today, has now claimed a starting berth and is one of the first names Neil Powell jots down on his team sheet, but he still sees every tournament and every match as a learning curve.
“I certainly came a long way since last year when I took over from Kyle Brown,” said Pretorius, who hails from Secunda. “You learn something new every day and in every match in the World Series. That is what is so great about playing Sevens. With the margins so small, you can never be 100%. Every match and every tournament is a new test of your abilities and where you need to improve,” said Pretorius.