Abrasive but elusive, in your-face but slippery, a hard man with a soft touch, David Brits is not an easy opponent, boasting a skill set that saw him help the Toyota Cheetahs win the coveted Currie Cup.
Brits is also a man on a mission. And now, to the benefit of Springbok Sevens supporters, he’ll soon be in the green and gold.
First things first though and when the 26-year-old was handed his training jersey at the Blitzboks’ first training session in Perth on Monday, emotions got the better of Brits – for once.
“This was an incredible feeling, being handed the training jersey for the first time," said Brits, who represented the SA Schools and Junior Springboks teams in his younger days.
“I knew about the custom but I did not how much it was going to affect me – it was profound. It is only a training jersey and not even the match jersey, but it had the Springbok on it and that means everything.”
Brits moved from a successful fifteens career at the outside centre for the Free Staters to the unknown waters of sevens rugby with no guarantees. But a desire to always challenge himself and to get into a team he admired since childhood finally brought results.
He was named in the squad to travel to Perth for the third tournament of the 2024 HSBC SVNS, having missed out on the first two in Dubai and Cape Town due to injury after he broke a rib in his first Blitzbok training session.
“This was my biggest challenge I had to overcome by far as a rugby player with a lot of ups and downs,” he admitted.
“The pace is so much faster, not to even touch on the fitness you need to play at this level. And the decision-making when fatigued is very challenging.
“But I love challenges and now want to contribute to the guys who suffered with me and worked hard alongside me to be at our best for the weekend. I have a role to play in the team and that will be my focus.
“We have very fast and elusive players in the team and part of my job will be to create opportunities for them to use those skills. And of course, to make tackles and stop opponents.
“It is going to be a big moment for me this weekend, and I’m really looking forward to this.”
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