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By Sports Reporter

Journalist


Ronald Brown: From Sevens fan in the stands to Blitzbok at World Cup

"I love playing for my country and to do it in front of the family and supporters will be so, so special."


How Ronald Brown’s life has changed in three years.

In 2019, as the Blitzboks ran out to contest the final of the World Rugby Cape Town Sevens event at the Cape Town Stadium, Brown sat in the stands, with tears streaming down his face. He was only a spectator.

Fast forward three years and Brown is a fully-fledged Blitzbok himself and about to play in the World Cup, at the very same venue.

ALSO READ: Cecil Afrika on Blitzboks return: ‘My country called and I had to answer’

The tournament kicks off on Friday morning, with the Blitzboks in action later in the evening.

“I am a pretty emotional guy, so will definitely feel that on Friday,” said Brown on Wednesday.

“The last time I was here, in 2019, I brought a friend who attended his first Sevens tournament ever and we started crying when the Blitzboks ran onto the field for that final, such a proud and awesome moment it was for us, even as a spectator. This time I am playing, it is really amazing to realise that.

‘Extra one percent’

“I will definitely feel the emotion again, but I prefer it like that. I will be proud and pumped to play in front of my family and our supporters, which is one of my ‘why’s’ in the game. I love playing for my country and to do it in front of the family and supporters will be so, so special.”

Brown said the send-off for coach Neil Powell, who will join the Sharks after the tournament, will drive the players. “We want to send coach Neil off with a special memory. He wants to see effort, that is what makes him happy, so that extra one percent when you are really tired will be for him,” Brown said.

ALSO READ: Brown shines for Blitzboks after fighting back from cancer

Powell meanwhile confirmed his final squad of 12 players on Wednesday.

Blitzboks World Cup squad

Cecil Afrika – 2013 RWC; 66 World Series tournaments, Ronald Brown – RWC debut; 8 World Series tournaments, Angelo Davids – RWC debut; 9 World Series tournaments, Selvyn Davids – 2018 RWC; 27 World Series tournaments, Muller du Plessis – RWC debut; 20 World Series tournaments, Christie Grobbelaar – RWC debut; 8 World Series tournaments, Sako Makata – RWC debut; 16 World Series tournaments, Mfundo Ndhlovu – RWC debut; 10 World Series tournaments, JC Pretorius – RWC debut; 20 World Series tournaments, Siviwe Soyizwapi (capt) – 2018 RWC; 40 World Series tournaments, Impi Visser – RWC debut; 21 World Series tournaments, Shaun Williams – RWC debut; 7 World Series tournaments

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