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Rugby | Sevens

Afrika wins Sevens player of the year



It has been a long time coming, but Springbok Sevens legend Cecil Afrika was finally named the International Rugby Board’s Sevens Player of the year at a glittering function in Auckland on Monday night.

Afrika’s determination and grit, and his match-winning abilities clinched it for him, as he finished the IRB Sevens series as the top try scorer, five ahead of his nearest rival.

Considering Afrika also missed two tournaments with a broken cheekbone, it makes his achievement even more significant.

Coach Paul Treu has often praised Afrika as the heart and soul of the side, the playmaker who can spark a revival in a matter of seconds and a specialist in the kick and chase, a move that brought him so many tries in the Series this year.

“The team is so incredibly proud of Cecil, congratulations on a very well deserved award brother! See you Thursday,” Blitzbokke captain Kyle Brown tweeted after hearing about Afrika’s honour, which came on the same night that French captain Thierry Dusaitoir won the IRB’s 15s Player of the Year award.

Afrika’s speed off the mark has been his greatest asset, but his vision is what has improved significantly over the past year, understanding where to take his side on the field and where to angle the attacks. His defence has also improved significantly.

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