Although most of the attention is focused on the new Springbok sponsorship deal with Absa and the 15 man code, South Africa Rugby Union (Saru) CEO Jurie Roux said on Thursday that Sevens Rugby will also reap significant benefits.
“The development of Sevens will be high on our list of priorities, and we are obviously delighted about the fact that Absa is willing to support us within that programme,” said Roux.
In staying in line with what government’s developmental goals for rugby are in general, Roux emphasised that a lot of work needs to be done at grass roots level.
“We will be building a brand, not only at national level, but also at provincial level and schools level. We are currently evaluating all of our sevens programs, other than just the team participating in the major tournaments,” he said.
“We need to build that brand, and we need to build that part of the game in our country.”
The Blitzbokke kick off the third leg of the HSBC Sevens World Series in Wellington, New Zealand on Friday.
Roux stressed that the overall development of rugby can be streamlined if the correct approach is taken in the shorter format of the game.
“We need to have our structures in place, and we need to have a plan,” he said referring to the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro where Sevens makes its debut.
“The Olympics are imminent in terms of our participation in that, and you don’t go to the Olympics to just pick up a gold medal.
“We have about two to three years to build properly in terms of that, and in terms of the expectations, so you can expect a lot more from Saru and its sponsors as far as Sevens are concerned.”
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