This week it was made public that the captain of the Springbok Sevens team needs to retire from international rugby due to a back injury. The veteran had a long and successful career playing for the Blitzbokke, and it is miserable that he has to retire at only 32-years-old due to the injury.
Snyman’s career came to an end at a time in his career where he is ranked as the most successful captain which the Sevens team from South Africa ever had. He is the man who helped them achieve greater heights and made them a valuable candidate to many sports betters. He debuted for the Blitzboks in Dubai during the season of 2008-09. When they won their first World Series, Snyman was part of the squad who made this history in South African sevens rugby.
This was one of three times when we were also running out onto the field for his country during the Sevens Rugby World Cups. The other two being Moscow in 2013 and San Francisco in 2018. This earned him the record of being the only Blitzbok playing in three World Cups. During the 2016 Olympic Games, Snyman was also part of the team that managed a bronze medal. During his long career, the veteran played 276 matches for South Africa during 63 tournaments. He managed 69 tries and 14 conversions. Combined with a penalty, he brought in a total of 376 points for the team. During 28 matches stretching between 2016 and 2019, he captained the team as well. It was indeed also under his leadership that the team managed a back-to-back World Sevens Series title. That was between 2017 and 2018.
Neil Powell, coach to the Springboks Sevens team, stated that the untimely departure of Snyman is leaving a significant gap that needs to be filled within the organization. Due to his tremendous legacy, the void will not be easy to overcome and replacing him would be a difficult task. Powell wasn’t only a coach to Snyman, but also a former teammate. He expressed only admiration and appreciation for the way that Snyman always presented himself on and off the field. The contribution which he made was tremendous, and he always pushed to enhance the team culture, Powell stated.
Snyman stated that in such a physical sport like rugby it is not uncommon that injuries cut careers short and even though he is saddened by the fact that he is forced into retirement at such a peak of his career, he remains grateful that he could play for more than a decade. Snyman also mentioned that every single part of his career helped to shape him into who he is today. He also made special mention of three coaches who played influential roles in his life. Pine Pienaar, Paul True and Niel Powell all contributed significantly to his career. He also thanked his loyal supporters and stated that in the end, it is for them that they play.