‘Great fans make it special’ – Brown
AFTER playing in 66 World Sevens Series tournaments, Kyle Brown is one player who would be able to tell you just what makes a tournament special.
Brown is two tournaments short of equalling Frankie Horne’s record for the most World Sevens Series tournament appearances by a Blitzbok (68).
And when he runs out for his 67th at Cape Town Stadium today, the former Blitzbok skipper will be looking to the crowd of 50 000-plus to help him bag another tournament win on home soil after having done so in Cape Town, Port Elizabeth and George.
“Since the days in George, we had fantastic support playing at home,” said Brown.
“That spilled over to Port Elizabeth and now in Cape Town, it is just amazing. The amount of support we get is just wonderful and humbling.
“People have been so faithful in supporting the South African leg of the World Series and that is great.”
“Everyone loves this tournament and the other teams often tell us how they enjoy playing here. The crowds are great and this is one of the best settings you will find.”
After two tough seasons due to injury, Brown recalled the special Cape Town Stadium moments of 2016 before he went down with a knee injury that would keep him on the sidelines for 10 months.
“We ran onto the field, the flames were going and it felt like everyone in the crowd were waving a South African flag – more than 50 000 of them. That moment – feeling that everyone is behind you – was one of my very best feelings in the 10 years I played on the World Series. Our spectators are so great.”
As Brown said, there are many things to look forward to as Sevens fever continues to rise today.
For Springbok Sevens coach Neil Powell, it’s the chance at redemption that stands out most for him after their 6th-place finish in the opening tournament in Dubai.
“Knowing the players, they will all be desperate to correct last weekend’s disappointments,” Powell said.
“We have learnt lessons from last weekend, but that is also true for the other teams in the tournament.”
“Everybody knows a little more of each other than was the case last week, so it will be tougher to break down defences, no doubt. We know we can only improve from last week and that is a nice prospect.”