Rising rugby stars, Brown and Williams, make Blitzboks debut in Canada, win title

Two University of Johannesburg (UJ) rugby players, Ronald Brown and Shaun Williams, shined in global HSBC World Rugby Sevens tournament in Vancouver, Canada, as part of the South Africa’s Sevens (7s) rugby team, the Blitzboks. The final took place at BC Place Stadium on Sunday, 19 September 2021.

Brown is a current UJ student while Williams is a former UJ student and player who was part of the UJ 7s teams that won Varsity 7s and Kings of Africa Kampala 7s in 2019 before moving to Stellenbosch. Both Brown and Williams represented UJ rugby through the years, in 15s and 7s rugby.

The HSBC World Rugby Sevens is a series of tournaments organised around the world in which men’s and women’s national sevens teams compete for series points. Previously, The Blitzboks won the series on three occasions, namely; in the 2008/09 season, as well as back-to-back in 2017 and 2018.

In 2020, the tournaments were called off due to the COVID-19 pandemic and travel restrictions in several countries. Having the competition returning in 2021 afforded the players a platform to compete internationally again.

The pair were seen stepping onto the field wearing jerseys number 7 and 8 and scored a try each in the opening game, a great way to introduce themselves on a world stage.

Asked how he felt about being part of the squad, Williams said that he felt overwhelmed, but grateful to play because COVID-19 had disturbed a lot of things. He says he was fortunate enough to get an opportunity from varsity rugby to a professional set up.

Brown believes that the hard work behind the scenes paid off and that he was honoured and excited to have scored a try in his first game. Brown did not only contribute to the points tally for South Africa, he was also named “Player of the final” after a stellar performance.

“We always set the highest standard for ourselves, and we play with honour because of the guys who came before us. Every time we step onto the field, we make it a point that we perform at our maximum best. That is exactly what we have done here in Vancouver,” said Ronald Brown.

The Blitzboks beat Kenya 7s by 38 points to 5 to claim the 2021 HSBC Vancouver Canada 7s tittle.


Springbok sevens tournament results:

20th September: Kenya 7s: 05-38: Springboks 7s (Final)

19th September: Great Britain 7s: 12-26: Springbok 7s (Semi-Final)

19th September: Springbok 7s: 54-05: Spain 7s (Quarter final)

19th September: Springbok 7s: 33-14: Kenya 7s (Pool Match)

18th September: Springbok 7s: 34-07: Spain 7s (Pool Match)

18th September: Springbok 7s: 34-07: Spain 7s (Pool Match)

18th September: Springbok 7s: 53-00: Mexico 7s (Pool Match)

Sa Rugby 7s Team
South Africa Sevens rugby team.
Ronald Brown Rugby
Ronald Brown in UJ colours.
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