Springbok Sevens players Selvyn Davids and JC Pretorius were honoured for their superb performances during the shortened sevens season with the ultimate accolade after being named in the 2020 World Rugby Sevens Series Dream Team.
World Rugby confirmed the winners of various World Rugby Sevens Series 2020 Awards on Monday, including the names of the two South Africans in the Dream Team alongside Scott Curry (New Zealand), Tavite Veredamu (France), Napolioni Bolaca (Fiji), Jordan Conroy (Ireland) and Aminiasi Tuimaba (Fiji).
For Davids and Pretorius, inclusion into this select group is a very special milestone and achievement. The team was selected by the World Rugby Sevens Series Awards panel, comprising former international sevens players and series commentators.
Davids, who scored 109 points for the Blitzboks in 33 matches with 11 tries and 27 conversions, also made 52 runs, topped only by Pretorius.
The 21-year-old forward not only made 53 runs, but also scored 13 tries and made 41 tackles in 27 matches, placing him second in both categories for the Blitzboks.
“It certainly is a dream come true and very unexpected,” said Davids.
“One will always credit your teammates when awards come your way, and this is certainly as much acknowledgement to their efforts as to mine. They contributed in a huge way and I want to thank them for that.”
Davids particularly enjoyed his try against Argentina in Sydney – where he outpaced a number of defenders in an 80 meter run – “as I cannot recall ever having to run that far for a try!”
The Blitzboks’ victory at the HSBC Los Angeles Sevens was his stand-out moment in the season, Davids added: “I was not on the field anymore when we scored to force extra time and then got the winning try in sudden death, but even from the side, that was an amazing feeling. In fact, I still get goose bumps just talking about it.”
Pretorius concurred: “That was special yes. My favourite try was against Japan in Cape Town though. Just playing in front of our home fans for the first time was such a special moment for me and when I scored my first try in front of them, it was such an amazing feeling.”
For Pretorius, his Dream Team selection was equally surreal.
“It has been a dream of mine to make this team, but even so, I am still a bit stunned,” said Pretorius.
“It is still sinking in and I am enjoying every minute of this. We are pretty much a team where everyone contributes and as such, this is also reward to the rest of the guys, so I want to thank all of them as well for the award.”