Cape Town - Springbok Sevens coach Neil Powell says he’s looking forward to seeing Mfundo Ndhlovu do his thing on the circuit after injury disappointments kept him sidelined.
While the 24-year-old started his Blitzboks career back in 2018, he hasn’t played in many big events because of an unfortunate run of injuries.
Last year, the outside back was ruled out of Olympic Games contention after sustaining an ankle injury in the last training match before travelling to Japan. And this year, with a packed calendar that includes the World Cup Sevens, Ndhlovu will be hoping to stay off the injury path.
This weekend, Ndhlovu can look forward to a fresh start after his injury-enforced absence from the pitch, quite aptly in Spain - when Malaga features as a World Sevens Series tournament destination for the first time.
“Mfundo has so much potential – I cannot wait for him to get a proper run; he is going to surprise a lot of teams,” Powell said about the exciting back’s game-breaking abilities.
“His attitude is also commendable, getting stuck into his rehab programme every time he is struck down. And despite his misfortunes, he always contributes to team culture.”
Ndhlovu’s last tournament was in Vancouver almost two years ago. It’s no surprise then that the flyer is amped to be back in the team environment in an active role.
“I cannot change what happened in the past, so I am not looking back at those misfortunes,” said Ndhlovu.
“I am only looking ahead, to what this tournament will bring and how I can best contribute.
“God has a plan with all of us and I accepted that. I used the time in rehab to reflect and improve myself as a person and now comes the time to express myself on the field.
“I am just happy to be around the squad again, to be touring with the boys and playing with them. It is a very talented group of players and to be selected is not that easy, so I am grateful for this opportunity where the rehab is behind me and the opportunities in front of me.
“The team did well in recent tournaments, but we can't rely on that this time around, we need to bring our best effort here if we want to be successful," Ndhlovu added.
The Blitzboks face Scotland on Friday and England on Saturday in the Estadio Ciudad de Malaga after World Rugby confirmed that Fiji will not be playing in any of their Pool A matches due to Covid-19 protocols. South Africa, Scotland and England will receive three match points for a “bye” and a draw of 0-0 will be recorded for those games.