Springboks Sevens star Rosko Specman has endured a frustrating couple of months after injury kept him out of the final two tournaments in the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series.
Seeing his teammates fight for the title in Paris was challenging, as he would rather have been on the field than watching the drama unfold on his television. He received a winner’s medal after the Blitzboks clinched the series in France, having played through the season before he was injured in Singapore, but it didn’t quite have the same feeling as contributing to the cause in the final round.
However, Specman has his chance to help the South African sevens team to achieve a rare double when he returns to action at the Rugby World Cup Sevens at AT&T Stadium in San Francisco this weekend.
Specman has proved his fitness for the showpiece event after sustaining a shoulder injury during the Singapore Sevens at the end of April, and now the hot-stepping speedster is looking to make some major contributions in the United States.
“Sometimes you don’t want to watch the games because of the tension, and because you really want to be there yourself to contribute,” Specman told KweséESPN.
“But I supported the boys and it was great to see them defending the title.
“You know you are part of the team, but you also know you weren’t there fighting with your teammates. I always want be there and contribute to the team, give it everything I have.
“I’m ready for the new challenges ahead. I worked hard to get into the team and to get my fitness back to a level to play at the World Cup. The guys got the week off ahead of the tournament, but I stayed behind to work on my fitness.
“We were 15 guys gunning for 12 positions, and if you don’t give it everything you have, you aren’t guaranteed a spot in the team. I don’t want to get comfortable, because the guys coming through want to perform.”
The youngsters certainly have performed well, with a player like 23-year-old Dewald Human playing a major part in the Blitzboks’ last tournament in Paris, where they won the World Series title by beating England in the final.
Specman welcomes the presence of the youngsters, saying their fearless nature and enthusiasm will give the team an edge this weekend.
“Guys like Dewald had a brilliant tournament in Paris,” Spekman said.
“Our academy is doing well and the guys are grabbing their chances with both hands.
“The great thing about the youngsters is that they don’t feel any pressure. The older guys will feel it a lot more because they have been there and they feel like they have to take more responsibility.
“That’s why I feel it’s a good thing to have these youngsters in the team in such a tournament. They come in and they enjoy themselves. That makes them very dangerous to play against.”